Sonora, CA -- Caltrans says crews will be doing blasting from 4pm to 5pm Wednesday afternoon on the Bypass. They say motorists and residents in the area may hear some load bangs, but the roadways are not being shut down. They also say there should be no traffic delays.
Caltrans says this is part of their $53 million phase II Highway 108 Bypass project which began in April of 2012.
Click here for a map of the area.
Sonora, CA -- With temperatures sitting in the triple digits this week health officials are asking residents to take steps to avoid heat illness.
Tuolumne County Health Officer, Dr. Todd Stolp says, "If you know of neighbors or friends who might benefit from assistance during the coming hot weather, this might be a good time to check on them."
According to Calaveras County Public Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita, children up to four years of age, the elderly and people with chronic health problems are most at risk of heat illness during prolonged periods of high temperatures.
Dr. Stolp and Dr. Kelaita recommend: staying in air conditioned areas if possible and avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. They say to wear a hat, use sunscreen, rest in a cool or shady area often and drink 16 to 32 ounces of liquids every hour while in the heat. Also include some foods, juices or sports drinks to replace electrolytes (salts in the blood). Never leave children or pets in a parked car.
Dr. Kelaita also notes "Persons with heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and those taking medications that interfere with the body's ability to cool down, are also at increased risk of heat illness." Signs of heat illness include heavy sweating, cramps, headache, nausea or vomiting, tiredness, weakness, dizziness and fainting. Residents should seek medical attention if they have these signs of illness.
In Tuolumne County public buildings like the Tuolumne County Library and nearby Senior Center are available to all for relief from the hot weather.
Sonora, CA -- Gas prices fell in some parts of California, other areas have started to see a rise at the pump. According to the latest report from AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah Insurance Exchange, which tracks gas prices, every metro area in Northern California saw a double-digit drop in its average price over the past month.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is now $3.70. According to the Gas Prices page here, a gallon ranges from $3.86 to a low of $3.57. Three gas stations in San Andreas are listed as selling for $3.69.
Among all 50 states California is the third highest, behind Alaska and Hawaii, in average price for regular, unleaded gasoline.
AAA spokesperson, Matt Skryja says "The recent drop at the pump was largely driven by lower crude oil prices around the globe. The decline is linked to a slew of concerns about global economic weakness, including worries about sovereign debt in Europe, signs of a slowing economy in China, and bearish economic data in the United States."
The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Marysville where regular is $3.54 per gallon. Eureka has the highest average price at $3.98. Modesto's average price per gallon is $3.63 down .40 from last month. South Lake Tahoe averages $3.85.
La Grange, CA - CAL Fire crews are now battling a 400 acre blaze on J 59 near Paseo Seven Legends and Bonds Flat Road.
CAL Fire reports they do not have any containment at this time. They say structures are threatened, but no word on types of structures. CAL Fire says wind is a factor in the flames spreading in a southerly direction over the grass and oak woodlands.
They report four engines, two tankers, a helicopter, Air Attack and 2 bull dozers are on the scene and more crews are being called.
Click here to view a map of the area.
Update 6pm: CAL Fire reports fire is now nearly 840 acre. They say crews have the blaze 50% contained. CAL Fire reports one out building and three acres of an olive orchard have burned down. They say no other structures are threatened. CAL Fire reports crews will work throughout the night to get the fire contained.
La Grange, CA -- CAL Fire reports that a vegetation fire near Lake Don Pedro is several acres in size near J-59 & Avenida Lugo road.
Air and ground resources are responding. Limited information is currently available. We will keep you updated as more information comes into the news center.
Click here to view a map of the area.
Update 2pm: CAL Fire reports a 20 to 30 acre grass fire. Four engines, two tankers, a helicopter, Air Attack and a bull dozer are on the scene. CAL Fire reports another dozer has been called in to assist. They say crews are making good progress on the blaze. CAL Fire reports a moderate rate of spread in an easterly direction towards the lake. No word on any structures in danger.
Update 3:45pm: CAL Fire says blaze is contained. They say several structures were threatened by the flames, but none were damaged.
Columbia, CA -- There is a project underway to enhance the entrance to Columbia State Historic Park.
PG&E crews will be burying the power lines in the area of Columbia State Historic Park. The work will limit traffic on Parrotts Ferry to one lane at Columbia Elementary School. Power lines will be buried from Columbia Elementary to South Gold Street.
Work began today and is expected to continue through Thursday, August 30 between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm.
Funding for the project comes from money set aside from customer's bills as part of Rule 20A. A committee decides which undergrounding projects have the highest priority.
According to Department Director for CRA Roads Division, Duke York, "The project is to enhance the visual quality of the Historic Park and has been in the works for many years." The project is expected to cost approximately 1.5 million.
There is also a project on Sawmill Flat Road and Parrotts Ferry for more about that read "TUD Warns Of Traffic Delays" here.
Eleven ballot measures will go before California voters in November, and the Secretary of State has released the order that they will appear on the ballot.
At the top will be Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to increase the state sales tax and incomes taxes on earners making over $250K. It was placed at the top by an act of the California legislature. A judge this week rejected a lawsuit filed by proponents of a competing tax measure, which would raise taxes on most all Californians, with the premise of helping education. Attorneys for the group Our Children, Our Future argued that their initiative should have qualified first because it turned in signatures earlier than Brown's campaign. The ruling has already been appealed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
As it stands right now, here is how the initiatives will appear on the ballot:
Proposition 30 - Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Proposition 31 - State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Proposition 32 - Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 33 - Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 34 - Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 35 - Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 36 - Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 37 - Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 38 - Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 39 - Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 40 - Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.
To view a description of each ballot measure from the Secretary of State's Office, click here.
Sonora, CA -- Plans to improve Phoenix Lake will be laid out by the Tuolumne Utilities District later this week.
T.U.D. received a $100,000 grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to help develop a Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Plan, and conceptual aspects of the plan will be discussed at a public meeting this Thursday afternoon.
The plan addresses lake restoration (including a dredging plan), water quality improvements, wetland habitat improvements, public access and fire management. T.U.D. reports that, ultimately, the plan will be used to prepare an engineered project design, environmental review, and to help secure construction grant funding.
Phoenix Lake is the primary drinking water source for Sonora, Jamestown, Scenic View and Mono Village. T.U.D. is concerned about Phoenix Lake, as its storage capacity has dropped by nearly a third over the past 100 years.
Thursday's meeting begins at 3pm the in T.U.D. meeting room. It will be follwed by an educational meeting at 6pm regarding proper land use practices for property owners adjacent to Phoenix Lake.
Sacramento, CA -- California voters are split on their views over public employee pension benefits.
A new Field Poll finds that 37% believe that benefits are "too generous," 36% say they are "about right," 17% feel they are "not generous enough" and 10% have "no opinion."
50% oppose the notion of reducing collective bargaining rights, and 40% support the idea. A large majority, 67%, support a salary cap when calculating pension benefits for public employees, and 60% are in favor of increasing the minimum age which employees can start receiving pension benefits.
SACRAMENTO - The most comprehensive overhaul of state government in decades became official last week following legislative approval of Governor Jerry Brown's Reorganization Plan.
Brown was Tuesday's KVML "Newsmaker of the Day".
The Governor's plan, which will be implemented over the next year, cuts the number of state agencies from 12 to 10 and eliminates or consolidates dozens of departments and entities.
"This far-reaching plan will make government more effective and will reduce wasteful spending," said Governor Brown.
Currently, many unrelated departments - like Caltrans, the Department of Real Estate and the Department of Financial Institutions - are housed together, while many related programs are scattered throughout different agencies. In many cases, departments and programs are duplicative. The Governor's plan changes the reporting relationships of dozens of entities to improve coordination and efficiency. This will ultimately make government more responsive to the public.
Upon implementation, five existing state agencies will be replaced by the following three:
• The Government Operations Agency, which will be responsible for administering state operations, such as procurement, information technology and human resources;
• The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, which will be responsible for licensing and oversight of industries, businesses and other professionals; and
• The Transportation Agency, which will align all of the state's transportation entities.
In May, Governor Brown's plan was unanimously approved by the Little Hoover Commission, the state's top independent government oversight body. The plan was then sent to the Legislature for review. Without a vote to reject the plan by a majority vote of either house, the plan became effective today.
Governor Brown's plan becomes operative on July 1, 2013 and the administration will be working closely with agencies, departments, boards and commissions on its implementation in the months ahead.
According to the Little Hoover Commission, the Governor's plan represents the most ambitious of the 36 reorganizations they have reviewed since 1968.
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at :47, 7:47 and 8:47am.