Sonora, CA -- There is a motorcycle accident on in the 300 block of South Washington Street in downtown Sonora.
Motorists are advised to travel with caution in the area. The accident victim is off the road, but crews are on scene assisting. Traffic is moving slowly through the area.
Update at 3:10pm: Traffic is again moving smoothly on S. Washington Street. Details about the accident have not yet been released by authorities.
San Andreas, CA -- A skull has been discovered at property formerly owned by the parents of convicted killer Wesley Shermintine.
The home is located just outside San Andreas. According to San Joaquin Deputy Les Garcia, it was with the help of the Santa Clara Canine Specialized Search Team that a wider search area could be investigated.
Investigators from both the San Joaquin and Calaveras Sheriff's Departments made the discovery. The remains have not been identified, but they suspect it is Cyndi Vanderheiden who went missing in 1998. According to Garcia the parents of Vanderheiden have been notified.
Deputy Garcia also noted that the remains were not found near an oak tree as marked on a map drawn by Shermantine. Deputy Garcia said evidence will be sent to a lab, and they will continue to look for other remains in the area.
Shermantine, and his partner in crime Loren Herzog, were known as the "Speed Freak Killers." Herzog committed suicide on January 17th while on parole.
Angels Camp, CA - Calaveras County is sowing some seeds of kindness next week during Kindness week February 14th through the 18th.
13,000 "pass it on" blue ribbons will be distributed to students in every school in the county next week. The ribbons are to be passed on to residents that are seen doing an "act of kindness."
This is the second year that ribbons will be passed out throughout the school system. Last year 22 Calaveras County schools participated. Light blue ribbons were attached to street poles, trees, signs, benches, windows and lamp posts from Arnold to Valley Springs.
Jim Bergantz one of the founders of Kindness Week said, "It will be a chance for people to talk about what it means to be kind," He added, "I think it is important in this day and age for people to be nicer to one another. Hopefully when they see a ribbon, people will ask what they've done."
On January 12, 2010 the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution to designate a week a year as "Kindness Week" and proclaim Calaveras County as a "Kindness Zone".
The annual Kindness Hero Essay Celebration will take place Tuesday evening during the Angels Camp City Council meeting. Students will read aloud essays about people that have made a difference in their lives. It will begin at 6pm in the Bret Harte High School multipurpose room.
"Seeds of Kindness" started in 1994 when by Jim & Judy Bergantz gave many citizens a dozen roses, free of charge. The stipulation was that one bloom could be kept, but the other eleven were to be given away in the spirit of goodwill & friendship.
San Andreas, CA -- Calaveras Sheriff's Deputies arrest Manuel Travis Grow, 38, of West Point. Grow was released from state prison but had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to abide by the terms and conditions of his post-release supervision as part of AB109. Grow reportedly cut and removed his electronic ankle monitor.
Calaveras Sheriff's Deputies on patrol in San Andreas observed Grow in a vehicle on Highway 49. The driver of the vehicle, Sondra Camacho (aka Sondra Melton) a 28 year old from Pioneer, was arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Camacho also had a previously issued arrest warrant for driving on a suspended license.
Both subjects were booked into the Calaveras County jail.
AB 109 is the Public Safety Realignment Act, which became law in April 2011 to help alleviate prison overcrowding as well as the state's financial crisis. It redefines the definition of felonies, transfers parole duties from state to county control, and implements a variety of alternative custody type programs.
Sonora, CA -- A vote to request state grant money to help update the General Plan was nearly voted down over concerns about too much state influence.
The Tuolumne County Supervisors voted 3-2 to request $220,680 from the "Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and incentives Program." The money would be used to update the Land Use and Circulation Elements of the county's General Plan.
Aspects of the application include showcasing the ways that the County is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting public health, increasing affordable housing, creating urban centers, promoting water conservation, and improving overall energy efficiency.
"This whole process and document is laced with nasty ideology in my opinion," said District Three Supervisor Evan Royce. "I'm just not comfortable with it."
With a different perspective, Supervisors Dick Pland and John Gray both argued that the state is mandating that all counties update the General Plan, so it is only logical request the state grant. Gray said he would rather receive money from the state, than take it away from local "quality of life" services like libraries and the recreation department.
Supervisors Royce and Randy Hanvelt feared that there could be strings attached in accepting this type of grant funding, and that there could be state influence to implement policies that do not fit the community. "I feel that it's a dirty trick that the state plays on us, and I don't like playing into that," said Royce. "Maybe you're right and it is the best way to get the money, but I don't like playing that game."
Supervisor Pland then argued that the county should not be worried about strings attached. "Let me say right out, that nothing goes into that General Plan that this Board doesn't approve. Period."
The final vote was 3-2, with the support of Pland, Gray and Supervisor Liz Bass.
San Andreas, CA -- Investigators were out again yesterday looking for bodies on the former property of Wesley Shermantine in rural Calaveras County.
Deputies fruitlessly searched the same area about a month ago, and it was unclear what prompted them to return yesterday. The Associated Press reports that authorities have been engaged in a strange cat-and-mouse game with the death row inmate Shermantine, who repeatedly has promised but failed to reveal the location of bodies.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation, and officials say they will likely be back out looking again today. The property is located outside San Andreas.
Shermantine, and his partner in crime Loren Herzog, were known as the "Speed Freak Killers." Herzog recently committed suicide while on parole.
Although Restore Hetch Hetchy closed their Sonora office about four years ago, the San Francisco based organization continues to gain strength and make news.
Mike Marshall, Executive Director for Restore Hetch Hetchy, was Thursday's KVML "Newsmaker of the Day".
Restore Hetch Hetchy is the largest group to carry out a conservation fight that almost began one hundred years ago.
Naturalist John Muir called Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley "one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples." Despite his urgent pleas, in 1913 the federal government approved San Francisco's request to flood the valley for use as a reservoir.
The decision horrified wilderness-lovers and helped spur the creation of the National Park Service and the international environmental conservation movement.
A series of Summer hikes, called Muir's March, is part of Restore Hetch Hetchy's ongoing mission to educate and return the Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural condition, while continuing to meet the water and power needs of all communities that depend on the Tuolumne River.
The march will take backpackers and hikers into scenic areas rarely experienced by tourists, raises awareness and funds for their campaign to bring the Hetch Hetchy Valley back to life. The treks literally and figuratively follow in Muir's footsteps, and are open to anyone who can raise a minimum of $90.
Muir's March participants can choose from 6 scenic treks, each led by an experienced guide, and vary in length from one to seven days.The treks will begin on July 29th.
"Last year, record numbers of activists participated in Muir's March," said Marshall. "As momentum grows to restore Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley, we have expanded the number and breadth of routes that follow Muir's footsteps - from the Tilltill Valley to Muir Gorge to the waterfalls of the Tuolumne River."
The Muir's March Guided Treks:
"Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne" 7 days -
This is the most strenuous course and follows the Tuolumne River down into the Pate Valley, up to Table Lake, and then back down to the banks of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. This is a 45.4-mile trek which includes Muir Gorge and Rancheria Falls. Many dramatic waterfalls are found in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne.
Valley to Valley 7 days -
A 42-mile journey beginning in Yosemite Valley. Marchers will experience some of the most scenic parts of the park as they follow the Yosemite Falls, El Capitan and the Middle Fork trails. The highlight of the hike is the spectacular view of the Hetch Hetchy Valley from the top of Smith Peak.
The Backcountry's Backcountry 7 days -
This is a 46.1-mile trek, which begins outside the park at Twin Lakes. The first day, marchers will climb up over Buckeye Pass and then traverse the most remote section of Yosemite down through the spectacular Jack Main Valley.
Tilltill Out'n'Back 4 days -This is a 20-mile trip from O'Shaughnessy Dam, along the north end of the Valley, past the waterfalls, through Rancheria Falls to Tilltill Valley, and back along the same scenic route.
The Kids Trip 4 days -
This 15 mile trip is especially designed for families with young kids. We'll begin at White Wolf and hike a short distance to Hardin Lake. After an afternoon swim and overnight stay, the trek meanders to Smith Meadow, where the intrepid drop their packs and hike to the top of Smith Peak to watch the sunset. The final day will require an early rise for the scenic trail to the O'Shaughnessy Dam.
Camping and One Day Hike August 3 and 4
This is a guided or self guided 3 mile roundtrip stroll out to Wapama Falls.
Join marchers for 2 nights of camping, including "Muir's Feast" on Friday night and the Restoration Picnic on Saturday to greet all the other hikers as they converge on O'Shaugnessy Dam.
Prospective participants can register or get more information by visiting www.muirsmarch.org or by calling 415-956-0401.
For more information on Restore Hetch Hetchy, visit http://www.hetchhetchy.org
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.