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School May Be Out But The ACSB Continued Its Work Wednesday

School may be out, but the Amador County School Board continued its work at its July meeting on Wednesday night, approving a series of service contracts for the upcoming school year. The board approved half a dozen professional service contracts providing the district with a wide range of services, including hosting the districts web site, online grading and test management services, second-chance classroom teaching for students making up failed classes, career selection help and an online service to review papers for plagiarism. The contracts ranged from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars on price and were all previously including in the district’s budget for the coming school year. 

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NRCS Cost Share Program To Fund Dead Tree Removals

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a federal agency under the department of agriculture, has created a cost-share program to fund dead tree removals within 100-foot defensible space zones around habitable structures. For landowners living in Amador, Calaveras or Tuolumne Counties, the regional forester that will be conducting site visits is Calaveras County Resource Conservation District (CCRCD) executive director Gordon Long.  In addition to full tree removals, the program provides funding for pruning, forest thinning of live small trees, tree planting and herbicide application, among other services. The program can pay about $800 per large dead tree within a 100-foot defensible space zone. If outside that zone, the funding provided is based on acreage. That can run anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per acre, depending on slope, proximity to streambeds and other specifics. In order to qualify, private forest landowners must have at least one dead standing conifer (pine, cedar, spruce, etc.) on their property. For more information on the program, call 791-0286.

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E.Coli Outbreak Originates From Petting Zoo 
Authorities now say a young child who died from exposure to E.Coli after a visit to the San Diego Del Mar Fair, picked up the infection at a fair petting zoo, and not from the livestock barns. Even with the livestock area cleared, the Amador County Fair reminds fair visitors how important it is to take advantage of the hand-washing stations that are provided in the livestock areas, as well as the public restrooms, after visiting any of the barns and animals. The spread of some forms of E. Coli, a bacterium found in the intestines of animals, can cause severe illness, but can be prevented with simple hand-washing. In addition to hand-washing stations and signs to remind visitors, Fair CEO Troy Bowers said there will be no food allowed in the livestock area and suggest families do not take strollers into the barns and urges parents to keep a close eye on young ones, while visiting the barn areas.

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Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Booklets Now Available

Senior “Farmers Market Nutrition Program” booklets are now available at the Amador Senior Center. The booklets are provided to individuals 60 years of age and older who are on a limited income. The program allows seniors to purchase fresh produce at local farmers markets. Qualified seniors will receive a booklet with 5, 4 dollar coupons, redeemable at any Amador Farmers Market during the season, which runs now thru September. Contact Nettie at the Amador Senior Center for more details, 223-0442.

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AWA Honored For 60 Of Service To Amador County

The Amador Water Agency was recently honored for 60 years of service to Amador County by the Amador County Board of Supervisors. AWA general manager Gene Mancebo spoke before the board with the aid of a slide show, highlighting the AWA’s accomplishments dating from the water agency’s foundation as a special district in 1959. At the conclusion of the slide show, the supervisors approved a resolution commending the agency’s contribution to quality of life in Amador County.

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PG&E's Wildfire Safety Program Continues To Make Strides

PG&E officials say the utility’s wildfire safety program is making strides, but there is still much to do.  As of June 22, officials report that crews have conducted visual inspections of 96 percent and aerial inspections of 92 percent of approximately 50,000 transmission structures in high fire-risk areas.  This includes inspections of all 222 substations in these areas and nearly all the nearly 700,000 distribution poles in and around them. Since June 1 and through the end of October, PG&E is flying daily aerial fire detection patrols across its service area to assist the U.S. Forest Service, CAL Fire and local fire agencies with early fire detection and response. Depending on conditions, seven planes fly daily routes from late afternoon until dusk, when wildfires are most likely to start. Four PG&E heavy-duty helicopters are also available to CAL Fire as needed.  Installation continues of remote-functioning reclosers in high wildfire risk areas, which the utility says will help isolate and minimize the scope of PSPS events by sectionalizing grid portions of impacted areas.  PSPS outreach efforts still underway include open houses and workshops.  The first Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) took place last month.                                                                                                                       Written by KVGC Staff

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Ione Approves Small Amendment To The City Code

The Ione City Council dealt with a number of items of City business at its meeting last night. The Council approved a small amendment to the City Code, which will allow those with residential homes in the city's Transitional Commercial zone to keep and raise chickens the same as residential homes in other zones do.  You can raise up to 6 chickens at home in Ione, and up to 12 with a special permit.  The Council also received a report and discussed the recent approval of modification to a subdivision map for Castle Oaks Village Number 8. The map was changed to alter some lot sizes and shapes, as well as changing some road layout and to remove a gated enterance. It also reduced the number of lots from 100 to 93 homes.  The approval sets the stage for the next phase of development in the large Castle Oaks development project.  A proposed garbage rate increase was tabled for the next meeting to allow a clarification to contract language.

Written by Craig Baracco

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 Former Calaveras County Man Sentenced 350 Years To Life In Prison

A former Calaveras County resident, who now lives in Utah, has been convicted of 14 felony counts related to the repeated rape of two minors in Calaveras County.  In what she said was, “A very disturbing case”, Judge Susan Harlan sentenced Anthony Blymyer to 350 years to life in prison this week.  Blymyer, 45, was arrested on Oct. 21, 2016, in St. George, Utah, and extradited to Calaveras County shortly after moving away from his family in San Andreas.  Details were released during the trail phase of the proceedings that included death threats Blymye made against his family and repeated violent and sexual acts toward his two young daughters, who were both between the ages of 12 and 17 during the time of the abuse.  The charges, which spanned from 2012 to 2014, all included felony enhancements for specialized circumstances.  Blymyer received 25 years to life for each of the 14 counts, which must be served consecutively.  He now has the right to appeal his conviction within 60 days of sentencing.                                                                                                            Written by KVGC Staff

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Supervisor Forster Served With Notice Of Recall Petition 

The fight over emergency response areas in Amador County grew more heated at a meeting of the Amador Fire Protection District Board of Directors, as Supervisor Richard Forster was served with a notice of a recall petition, and the City's fire departments continued to protest the recently implemented changes in response area maps created by the AFPD.   During public comments, Dana Calhoun of Ione presented a notice of recall for District 2 Supervisor Forster, citing his role in the new response areas, the recently adopted “fee for service” for medical calls implemented by the AFPD and his delaying the economic development from the Buena Vista Casino.  Forester himself was not present for the meeting.  The notice to Forster is one of the steps needed before a recall petition can be circulated.

The debate over response areas continued later in the meeting, as Fire Chiefs from Jackson, Ione and Sutter Creek all raised objections to the new AFPD policy, which increased the area of responsibility for the County-wide fire agency at the expense of the city fire departments. The City Chiefs objected to the loss of Measure M tax money and increased response times that would result from the new maps.  AFPD Fire Chief Walt White said that the new maps had come about when Cal-Fire, which provides emergency dispatch in the County, asked the AFPD for any changes when the new Buena Vista Cal-Fire station went online.  The Board of Supervisors, who also serve as the AFPD Board of Directors, signaled a willingness to address the city fire department concerns, apologizing for the lack of communication and scheduling an addition meeting on July 25th to discuss how Measure M money is distributed and discuss the possibility of returning to the old response area maps.                            

Written by Craig Baracco

 

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Search Continues For Man Missing In The Waters Of Pardee 

The search is continuing today, for a man reported missing in the waters of Pardee Reservoir.   According to the Amador Sheriff’s Office, Saturday evening about 8:45, the dispatch center received the report of a male subject in the water at Pardee reservoir.  According to the reporting party, they saw the man in the water struggling to stay afloat approximately ½ mile from the Pardee marina boat ramp.  Before the reporting party could get to the subject to assist him, he went below the surface and did not come back up.  Deputies responded to the scene with the assistance of East Bay Municipal District Rangers to mark the location and recover a boat associated to the missing person.  A boat trailer and vehicle were also located in the marina parking lot.  On Sunday members of the Amador County Marine Unit and Dive Team responded to the area and with the use of side scan sonar conducted a search for the subject, but were not able to make a recovery.  Today the search continues with the assistance of a remotely operated underwater vehicle from the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.  Officials say the search has been hampered by the approximate 80-90 foot depths of the reservoir in the search area.

Written by KVGC Staff

 

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