Yosemite, CA -- Park officials say the Tenaya Lake area is the focus of this restoration project.
They say crews are already working on moving the entrance, putting bridges over creeks and rerouting certain parts of the trail to make it more accessible to all, even those in wheelchairs. Also, the path will be well marked to keep people on the trail and out of sensitive wetland areas.
Yosemite Conservancy is giving $1.7 million to restoration project. Conservancy President, Mike Tollefson says, "Tenaya Lake has a captivating natural beauty that charms park visitor's young and old alike." He adds, "Those coming to the east beach area will have an even better high country lake experience as a result of the restoration efforts made possible by our donors." The money will also go for plants to replenish the wetlands and added picnic areas.
Tollefson says nearly one million visitors come to the Tenaya Lake area of Yosemite National Park each year.
To see pictures of the current work being done and get more details on the restoration project click here.
Calaveras County, CA -- CAL Fire reports a one acre grass fire in the 7600 block of Riata Way, between Copperopolis and Angels Camp, near the area of Poole Station Road is close to being handled. They have released some engines and a helicopter.
That helicopter has been sent back to the scene of another blaze crews are working on in the area of Pommel Way and Colt Lane. The helicopter is helping to check for hot spots on the 5 acre grass and oak woodland blaze.
CAL Fire reports both fires are moving at a slow rate of spread and no homes are in danger. No word on what sparked the blazes.
For a map of Riata Way click here.
For a map of Colt Lane click here.
UPDATE: Both fires are fully contained.
Tuolumne County leaders are open to the idea of helping to fund Railtown 1897, at least during the short-term.
During talks about the county budget today, District Five Supervisor Dick Pland asked the Board to send a letter to the State of California saying the county will "consider" allocating funds for Railtown when the final budget hearings are held in September.
Pland estimates that $30,000 is still needed to keep the soon to be closed state park open for an additional year. $150,000 was recently raised thanks to fundraisers by local service clubs, and a grant by the Sonora Area Foundation. Pland expects the state will chip in an additional $160,000, which is what it would cost to "moth ball" the park when it's closed.
"I just wish that those who were against ballot Measure C would have come up with an alternative funding proposal, but they did not," says Pland. "So it comes back to the people of this county, and this board, about whether we are going to keep Railtown open or not. I am proposing that we do everything we can to keep it open for one more year, and then see how everything plays out."
Measure C was voted down earlier this month and would have expanded the current Transient Occupancy Tax. The new funding could have been used to help keep Railtown and the Mother Lode Fairgrounds operational.
The motion to send the letter was approved with a 5-0 vote this morning, but Supervisors Evan Royce and Randy Hanvelt indicated that they would have to be convinced at the September budget hearing in regards to actually allocating the money.
"If you can figure out a way to save it, it would be nice," says Royce. "But I want to make sure that if we pull $30,000 out of our budget, we are pulling it from areas of like kind."
Royce indicated that he is not willing to see programs like public safety harmed in order to help the park.
Supervisor Hanvelt added that he enjoys taking family and friends to the park and strongly supports finding a long term solution for Railtown. However, he is cautious about allocating county funds.
"I am willing to talk about Railtown anytime, but I heard the voters pretty loud and clear (Measure C)," says Hanvelt. "Whether you think they were ill informed or not, they spoke."
Supervisor Pland responded, "Frankly, I am out of alternatives, and I think that the committee that is trying to save Railtown is out of alternatives."
The issue will be ironed out in September. County leaders hope that by sending the letter, it will further delay any potential closure of the park.
In addition today, the county approved many aspects of the fiscal year budget for next year. However, many of the decisions related to staffing cuts, notably public safety, were delayed until later this summer when the county has a better estimate of the incoming finances.
A second grass fire has popped up in the Copperopolis region.
CAL Fire reports that a one acre grass fire is burning in the 7600 block of Riata Way, between Copperopolis and Angels Camp. It is near the area of Poole Station Road. No homes are considered in danger. To view a map of the area, click here.
Air and ground crews also continue working to extinguish a grass and oak woodland fire in the area of Pommel Way and Colt Lane. No homes are in danger, and it has a slow rate of spread. To view a map of the area, click here.
The causes of the fires are under investigation.
There is a vegetation fire reported near Copperopolis.
Air and ground resources are responding to Pommel Way near the Colt Lane intersection. The fire is reportedly west of the community of Copperopolis, and South of Highway 4. CAL Fire does not have a size estimate at this time. There are no immediate reports of structures in danger.
To view a map of the area, click here.
Updated at 11:45am:
CAL Fire reports that the blaze is 2-3 acres in size, and it is burning grass and oak woodland. It has a slow rate of spread, and no homes or buildings are considered in danger.
A Sonora man has been busted following a lengthy investigation.
On November 28 of last year, a device that looked like a bomb was found outside the Tuolumne County Courthouse during the morning hours. The item was located in a canvas bag and consisted of three red cylinder type objects that were taped together. There was a wire running from the cylinders to a black box, which was also attached to the cylinders.
The Courthouse was evacuated for approximately two hours, until the Calaveras County Bomb Squad determined that the device was inert.
Parts of the device were sent to a California Department of Justice Lab for forensic analysis. Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson says lab workers were able to find DNA evidence belonging to Terry Keever, 55, of Sonora.
Records indicate that Keever was in court on the day of the incident and was placed into custody on an unrelated matter. Archives show that Keever had been arrested one week earlier in connection to an East Sonora burglary.
Stinson notes that during the investigation period into the fake bomb, Keever had actually contacted the SPD and tried to implicate someone else as being responsible for the crime, in an effort to receive a reduced sentence for his original crime.
Keever now faces an additional felony charge.
Yosemite, CA -- A prescribed burn is scheduled to start up this afternoon in Yosemite National Park.
Park officials say it will take around three days to burn the 220 acres of brush. The burn will be take place near the Big Oak Flat Entrance Station on Highway 120. Smoke from the burn may be visible throughout the park. This will be the first prescribed burn of the 2012 fire season in Yosemite National Park.
Governor Jerry Brown was Tuesday's "Newsmaker of the Day". Here is his proclamation in recognizing today, June 19th, as "Juneteenth":
"On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, officially ending slavery in the United States of America. It took three more years of war to defeat the upholders of that evil institution, and the toil of generations to erase its awful legacy.
Each year, we celebrate the day known as "Juneteenth" as the true anniversary of the end of slavery. Texas was among the last states to allow ownership of slaves, and on June 18th, 1865, Union troops led by General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston to enforce the President's order.
On the following day, June 19th, General Granger formally announced the end of slavery in Texas and hence the liberation of some of the last men and women to be legally held as slaves in our country.
I call on all Californians to observe Juneteenth as an important milestone in our long march towards equality; a reminder of the great contributions African-Americans have made as free citizens of our nation, as well as the injustices they suffered as slaves; and the courage of our forebears of all races and creeds who gave their lives to the fight against slavery."
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.