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John Tuttle
5 days ago

While recent rains this winter and spring have been a welcome sight in California, drought conditions continue to increase fire danger in the region prompting CAL FIRE to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Sacramento, Amador, El Dorado and Alpine Counties. This suspension takes effect June 27, 2016 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris like branches and leaves.

“Conditions throughout our region have become such that it is no longer safe for the...

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John Tuttle
5 days ago

The California Department of Transportation and the City of Jackson continue to work on the project to realign the two intersections where State Route 49/88 meets Sutter Street, while also installing traffic signals at the new intersection.

Official hopes are that this safety project will be completed this summer. Crews are working primarily Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and drivers should expect five-minute delays. No work is scheduled to be performed on weekends or holidays.

When complete, the project is...

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Jack Mitchell
5 days ago
Helicopters and numerous emergency personnel converged on the Camanche Fire, on Coal Mine Road, near Lake Camanche. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Bill Lavallie

On Friday, June 17, at 2:45 p.m., reports of a grass fire in the area of North Camanche Parkway and Coal Mine Road were estimating the size of a new fire as being 1/4 acre, but a very short time later it had grown to 40 acres and was moving east.

The Amador County Sheriff’s Office launched a Code Red, notifying residents in the area of the danger, then began evacuating the area of North Comanche Parkway between Coal Mine and Buena Vista roads, including the area of Hidden Mesa. They closed the roadways in the area and routed...

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Craig Baracco
3 weeks ago

After a devastating fire season last year and with a new fire season fast approaching, the Sutter Creek Fire Department held a training exercise and control burn along Highway 49, next to the Italian Picnic Grounds, on Wednesday night.

Amador Ledger Dispatch photos by Craig Baracco

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Via Press Release
05/12/2016 9:22 AM
Hunter Richard Webb

Lacey Renae Skilling was born April 10, 2016 at 2:15 p.m. at Sutter Amador Hospital to Angelina and Joshua Skilling of Columbia. She weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces and measured 19 inches in length. Baby Lacey was welcomed by her sister, Lailah. Grandparents are Chris and Theresa Lampkin. Great-grandmother is Rachel Salazar.

Hunter Richard Webb was born April 12, 2016 at 6:42 p.m. at Sutter Amador Hospital to Cassie and Tommy Webb on Ione. He weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and measured 20.5 inches in length. Grandparents are Rich and...

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William Peterson
04/14/2016 2:36 PM
A defined benefit pension plan, where a company promises to pay a retiree a set amount each month during retirement, has been a staple in many people’s retirement plan for a long time. However, things have changed a lot lately for pension plans. Do you now, or have you ever participated in a defined benefit pension plan? Are you retired and receiving a monthly pension check? If you are one of the estimated 40 million Americans who can answer yes to either question, be on the lookout for a notification announcing important changes to... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
03/31/2016 12:01 PM
With spring now taking hold in California, CAL FIRE is staffing up for fire season, while focusing the efforts of its crews on preventing large and damaging wildfires. Recent rains have been a welcome sight to drought-parched California, but CAL FIRE firefighters are not letting their guard down, instead they are training for another potential busy fire season and working hard to prevent wildfires. Across the State, CAL FIRE has already hired a surge of over 400 additional seasonal firefighters, whose focus includes fire prevention,... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
03/31/2016 11:57 AM

Last Thursday, around 3:30 p.m., a dead man was found inside a vehicle near Rail Road Flat Elementary School. Calaveras Sheriff’s Deputies were sent to a trailer that was partially blocking Rail Road Flat Road near Rail Road Flat Elementary School. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found the dead man inside the vehicle.

Sergeant Anthony Eberhardt said that there was nothing suspicious about the death and that there was no foul play involved.

Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio said the cause of death has not been...

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Via Press Release
03/31/2016 12:20 PM

Amador County Public Health is conducting an investigation of an unvaccinated visitor who tested positive for measles. This individual is not a resident of Amador County, but dined at a local restaurant while traveling through the area. There are currently no cases in Amador County. As part of this ongoing investigation, Amador County Public Health is asking anyone who was inside Strings Italian Café in Jackson on the evening of Wednesday, March 23, 2016, to call the Health Department, at (209) 223-6407.

Measles is a highly...

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Guest Commentator
03/17/2016 12:43 PM
California and other parts of the West have experienced significant drought conditions since 2010. During that time, tree mortality has exponentially exploded — attributed to the drought, poor land management and biological conditions ideal for the spread of bark beetles. The forests of the Sierra have been heavily impacted. Resources are spread thin as a result of the extraordinary amount of dying trees in such a short time period. The drought and overstocked conditions (too many trees and brush) increase the trees’ susceptibility... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
03/17/2016 12:36 PM
The green hills of Spring show that nature is participating in Calaveras County’s recovery from the Butte Wildfire. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Sarah Spinetta

Calaveras County residents who lost their uninsured or underinsured homes in the Butte Fire last September are encouraged to contact Calaveras Recovers to see how the all-volunteer group may be able to assist them in rebuilding their homes.

“We have trained Personal Advocates standing by, ready to assess people’s unmet immediate needs and long-term housing needs,” said Allen Sender, Board Chair of Calaveras Recovers. “Our main goal is to help get people back into homes whose insurance or government aid programs were not enough.”...

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Via Press Release
03/10/2016 12:30 PM

The National Weather Service forecast a series of strong storms moving through the area, continuing off and on through early next week. The main impacts from these storms were predicted to be heavy rain and snow (and some wind).

Possible impacts may include local power outages due to downed limbs and trees. Flooding is likely in poorly drained areas, including streets and highways during intense rainfall. Smaller, unregulated streams will see rapid rises and local flooding may occur. Rainfall totals should be higher than the last...

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Guest Commentator
03/03/2016 12:38 PM

The Amador County Tax Collector will hold a public auction sale of tax-defaulted property on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 10 a.m., in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, located in the Amador County Administration Center, 810 Court Street, in Jackson.

Parcels become subject to sale by the Tax Collector at the end of five years from the date of tax default. The available parcels will be offered for sale on an oral bid basis for at least the established minimum bid. The parcels will be sold to the highest bidder.

The primary...

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John Tuttle
03/03/2016 10:36 AM

Calaveras County Association of Realtor Charities was founded in January of 2006 to help first- time home buyers with closing costs. Then along came the Butte Fire on September 9, 2015. So many people were displaced that the CCAR’s Board of Directors voted to change their direction and help those with the most urgent housing needs. And help they did. They provided everything from trailers and cars to cash for immediate needs.

During the first quarter of 2015, $151,000 in cash donations were received to help fire survivors. Those...

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Renee Davis
03/03/2016 10:31 AM
Grand Prize winner Nadine Womack displays her Rolex watch. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
This past Valentine’s Day, Hospice of Amador & Calaveras announced the seven lucky winners of the 7th annual “Take a Chance on Love” Valentine’s Day Raffle, which were drawn & announced live on KVGC 1340 AM Radio. Dan Riordan, Executive Director said, “This year our great community again showed us the love by raising over $26k by purchasing 5,085 raffle tickets, with all proceeds benefitting Hospice of Amador & Calaveras. Thank you to our generous donors, contributors, raffle sponsors, volunteers, employees and everyone who purchased... [Read more]
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Eric Winslow
03/03/2016 8:44 AM
The Buena Vista biomass plant on Coal Mine Road, defunct since last month. Photo by Eric Winslow
Ione, CA - The Buena Vista biomass plant in Ione officially shut down on February 5. Buena Vista President, Mike Muston said that the reason for the closure was that, "We were unable to get an off-take agreement or a power purchase agreement at this time." In 2009, the plant on Coal Mine Road had been converted from a former lignite coal to a biomass plant for the conversion of clean, urban wood taken from landfills, agricultural byproducts and especially forest sourced material coming from forest thinning projects. Since 2012, Buena... [Read more]
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George Runner
03/03/2016 12:34 PM

Fire Prevention Fee bills for fiscal year 2015-16 began mailing this week, to more than 700,000 rural Californians, many of whom are receiving a bill for the fifth time.

“Californians who live in rural areas already pay taxes to fund essential fire services,” said California Board of Equalization Member George Runner. “It’s a shame this unfair and illegal tax continues to extract dollars from hardworking people. The Legislature and Governor should repeal it.”

Approximately 10,000 bills will be sent each day. The mailing...

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Via Press Release
03/03/2016 10:26 AM

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s new “Today in Energy” brief looks at what’s behind the decline of wholesale gasoline prices in California during February.

“The spot price of wholesale gasoline in Los Angeles fell as low as 66 cents per gallon on February 18, the lowest spot gasoline price in the nation and something that has only occurred on 24 days in the past 10 years. From February 12 to February 23, the Los Angeles spot price for California reformulated oxygenate blendstock (CARBOB, the petroleum component of...

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Craig Baracco
02/25/2016 12:17 PM
An aerial view of the circuitous road leading down to Roaring Camp and the Mokelumne River shows a portion of the area threatened by the Butte Fire. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Dave Gebauer

In a special Tuesday afternoon session this week, the Amador County Board of Supervisors held a workshop to look at efforts to fight the Butte Fire and to put forward ideas to improve efforts to respond to future fires.

Representatives from numerous agencies involved in the response to the Butte Fire attended the workshop. The Butte Fire started a mile east of Jackson and charred over 70,000 acres in Amador and Calaveras counties last September. Testifying before the board and answering questions from the public were Amador...

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Guest Commentator
02/25/2016 12:47 PM
Pine Engraver Beetles carve deep, destructive grooves in trees. Photo courtesy to the Ledger Dispatch.

Pine Beetle outbreak — Amador County 2016

Five years of drought have led to an epidemic of dead trees in the Central Sierra. Many local pines are dying due to the Western Pine Beetle. The Pine Engraver Beetle is also affecting many pine trees while some cedars are dying directly from drought, without beetles being involved. The trees are weakened by the drought and lack the ability to “pitch out” the insects as they normally can during average-rainfall years. The increased tree death increases the risk of wildfire. Together, we...

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