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Government

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Craig Baracco
1 week ago

The Plymouth City Council and Planning Commission held a special joint workshop Monday night, as the city considers re-designating land for denser residential development.

Members of both the City Council and Planning Commission will work on a proposal to increase allowed residential development on a vacant ten acre parcel of land located on the northern edge of the city, west of Highway 49. The new zoning would allow attached units and multifamily housing, rather than the single-family homes currently allowed. The city is making...

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Craig Baracco
1 week ago
Sutter Creek City Council meets the first and third Monday of each month. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Craig Baracco

Parks and Recreation were the main topics of discussion at Monday night’s Sutter Creek City Council meeting.

The council voted to select the name for the new city park located on the south end of Main Street. The city has been taking suggestions from the public on naming the new park, and a special committee narrowed the almost forty possible names down to six finalists. A series of ballots by the council narrowed down the six finalist with the council selecting the name for the park by secret ballot. The name of the new park will...

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Craig Baracco
1 week ago

Fiscal matters dominated the agenda at Tuesday’s night Ione City Council meeting.

The council reviewed a draft of the upcoming 2015-2016 fiscal year’s budget, as the city continues to seek addition cuts to bring its fiscal house in order. Among the announced cuts were the elimination of the city’s vehicle maintenance department and the elimination of a police office position assigned to the County-wide anti-drug task force. The council will begin final review of the city budget at its next meeting, on June 2. The new budget goes...

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Matthew Hedger
1 week ago
ACPD says its officers will be conducting DUI Checkpoints in the upcoming months in an ongoing commitment to lower deaths and injuries upon our streets and highways. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

Six driving under the influence arrests were made over the weekend by Angels Camp Police during a “DUI Saturation Patrol” held at the same time as the annual Calaveras County Fair.

Four of the arrests took place Saturday night. In a news release, ACPD said 46-year-old Angels Camp resident Rodney Oconnor was pulled over around 8:15 p.m. on Bush Street near Utica Lane for failure to stop a a stop sign. Oconnor was determined to be driving under the influence of alcohol, arrested and booked into the Calaveras County Jail.

A Rio...

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John Tuttle
1 week ago
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has released its annual report highlighting the numbers and common types of complaints it received during 2014 on suspected Internet fraud and other Internet-based crimes.

The report mentions two new trends that took shape during 2014: criminals increasingly taking advantage of personal data found on social media to start relationships with victims and scam them out of their money; and the emerging popularity of virtual currency, which has attracted perpetrator...

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John Tuttle
1 week ago
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

The Amador County Environmental Health Department is currently accepting applications for the Safe Drinking Water Financial Assistance Program. Amador County has limited funds available to assist homeowners with work necessary to protect public health from contaminated drinking water sources.

Eligible owners include those with nitrate contaminated wells within a defined area of the Ione Valley and owners countywide with failing septic systems.

Please review the Program Policy at co.amador.ca.us/home/showdocument?id=10617...

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John Tuttle
1 week ago
This photo was taken at the November 2014 Veteran’s Day Parade in downtown Jackson. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Tessa Marguerite

Free Memorial Day Admission to State Parks for Veterans, Active and Reserve Military Personnel

California State Parks will honor men and women who served or are serving in the Armed Forces this Memorial Day by offering free admission at participating state parks on Monday, May 24.

“Offering free admission to our beautiful parks is one of the many ways our state honors Veterans and service men and women on Memorial Day,” said Debbie Endsley, California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary. “Giving them the opportunity to...

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Kelsi Himmel
1 week ago
The natural beauty of Ecuador. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

When we take a good hard look at our brief romance with oil we may see that this relationship is not what it promised to be. In the early days of our infatuation we envisioned all things pleasant and wonderful, as we so often do at the start of an exciting, new relationship. We could see the amazing advances to our lives that were provided by crude; advances such as motor vehicles, seemingly endless amounts of disposable plastics and the material things that have come with having more money.

This romance only began a little more...

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Via Press Release
2 weeks ago
Dick Glock. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Tessa Marguerite
As County Superintendent of Schools I have a statutory duty and responsibility to reasonably investigate any and all matters which may put the County Office of Education at risk or interfere with the conduct of its business on behalf of our community. In addition under my AB 1200 responsibilities, I have a duty and responsibility to investigate and oversee various school district activities. As you know, the most recent Grand Jury report has raised serious issues regarding the activities and operations of the County Office of... [Read more]
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Craig Baracco
2 weeks ago
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

The Jackson City Council passed an emergency restriction on water use and adopted a new program of parking times for the city at their meeting Monday night.

The council passed a package of measures intended to help conserve water due to the state-wide drought. Jackson residents will be limited to outdoor irrigation twice a week, with watering only allowed between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. Water can no longer be used to clean driveways or sidewalks and water will be offered in restaurants only by request. These measures will go into...

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Craig Baracco
2 weeks ago
Dick Glock. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Tessa Marguerite

The Amador County School Board has voted to not renew the employment contract of Amador County School District Superintendent Dick Glock at their meeting Wednesday night.

The vote was held in closed session before the start of the general meeting, so details of the discussion are not publicly known. The reported vote was 3-2 for non-renewal of Mr. Glock’s contract. Board members Wally Upper, Bob Laurent and Rose Oneto voted in favor, and Mary Walser and Joel Mottishaw opposed. Walser, who is currently in England on vacation,...

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John Tuttle
2 weeks ago
Lake Shasta, March 2009. Photo courtesy of CA Department of Water Resources

A broad coalition of Californians, including state legislators, farmers, farmworkers, business and labor leaders, water advocates, and others spoke out recently at the State Capitol, urging the Legislature to act to expedite the construction of new water storage projects in California.

“If the Legislature is willing to grant the Sacramento Kings arena expedited environmental review, then surely we should grant it to crucial water storage projects, which benefit all Californians,” said Assembly Member James Gallagher, the author...

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Craig Baracco
2 weeks ago
Helwig Amphitheater. Photo courtesy of Helwig Vineyards

The Amador Planning Commission, after much debate, has approved a new series of concerts to be held at Helwig Vineyards in the Shenandoah Valley.

The new concert series will consist of seven Saturday night music events with up to 750 attendees and 50 staff at each event. Currently, wineries in Amador County are limited to 450 attendees for events without the special permission granted by the Planning Commission. Helwig currently holds concerts with attendance near or above the 450 person limit, and sought approval for larger...

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John Tuttle
2 weeks ago
The hunt for William Bradford Bishop, Jr. has taken investigators all over the country and the world, leading to the unearthing of a John Doe, fingerprinting dozens of lookalikes, and capturing another fugitive who had been on the run for four decades. The FBI Lab at Quantico identified Bishop’s DNA from a cigarette butt found in the family station wagon in 1976. His profile is being compared to John Does and criminals in law enforcement databases around the world. Investigators also learned from witnesses who came forward in the... [Read more]
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Matthew Hedger
2 weeks ago
The Mokelumne River near the divide of Amador and Calaveras counties. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Tessa Marguerite

A powerful debate on the merits of whether or not county leaders should contribute money to support a bill now moving through the California state legislature to study the Mokelumne River and whether or not it could — or should — receive “wild and scenic” status, dominated the morning session of the Amador County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The bill, AB 142, was authored by area Assemblyman Frank Bigelow and co-authored by Senator Tom Berryhill in response to last year’s Senate Bill 1199, brought forth by an out-of-the-area...

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John Tuttle
3 weeks ago

The Franchise Tax Board recently published its newest Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayers list, which includes individuals and businesses that collectively owe the state more than $132.5 million in income tax.

In February, FTB sent letters to taxpayers scheduled to appear on the list. Of these taxpayers, 205 made arrangements to pay their tax debt. Another 228 individuals and 67 businesses did not, resulting in their inclusion on the list.

The Top 500 list is published in April and in October. Since the list’s inception in October...

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John Tuttle
3 weeks ago
Photo courtesy of SacBee

The Amador-El Dorado Forest Forum will be leading a field tour of the 2014 King Fire on Saturday, May 16. The tour will highlight the south end of the King Fire, including White Meadows Road, and Peavine Ridge areas. The tour will focus on all aspects of post fire effects to both private and public forestland. Post fire management activities will also be discussed. The tour will conclude with a stop in the 1992 Cleveland Fire area.

To access the field tour, participants are asked to meet at noon at the Pollock Pines Safeway,...

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Via Press Release
3 weeks ago
Oil contamination in the Amazonian jungle. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
In 1964 Texaco (now Chevron) struck oil in the Ecuadorean Amazon Rainforest. At that time there were five major indigenous groups living in the rainforest; Cofán, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa and Huaorani. The indigenous lived off the land, hunted the wild animals, fished from the Napo River, had no contact with white people, raised their children in the way their parents raised them and their parents before them. No one told them Texaco was coming to take oil. No one told them that the oil companies were going to poison the water, the... [Read more]
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John Tuttle
3 weeks ago
New Melones. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
U.S. Representative Jeff Denhamhas introduced two pieces of legislation designed to help the Central Valley cope with ongoing drought by examining ways to protect native fish and restoring local control of the New Melones dam. The first, H.R. 2086, establishes a pilot program on the Stanislaus River to protect native salmon and steelhead fish populations. The second, H.R. 2085, establishes a process for local organizations to regain control of New Melones, ensuring agencies with the best understanding of the Valley’s needs will be... [Read more]
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Craig Baracco
3 weeks ago
An aerial view of the city of Ione. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

The Ione City Council held hearings on the city’s Housing Element and an audit of last year’s finances at their meeting Tuesday night.

The council, for a second meeting in a row, reviewed an update of the Housing Element of the General Plan before voting to approve. The Housing Element both inventories existing housing stock and conditions and sets future policy and goals for development of housing in the future. The state requires all such plans be updated every five years. The Housing Element is required to show how the city...

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