Soulsbyville, CA -- CAL Fire says the fire has grown to 40 acres and is 20 percent contained and 16 engines are on the scene. They say crews will continue to battle the blaze overnight.
The flames started at Armario Road and Elliot Road off of Soulsbyville Road. CAL Fire says two residential structures, one an A-frame and a stick frame, as well as one out building, one pick-up and one travel trailer were all damaged in the fire. The blaze also came near Covers Apple Ranch.
Tuolumne County Sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Wilson says there were no evacuations. However, CAL Fire says those people who left their homes vouluntarily when the fire first broke out will not be allowed back into the area. They say an evacuation center has been set up at the Soulsbyville Club House off of Willow Springs Road.
CAL Fire says power lines are down and nearly 1300 people are without power. PG & E is on the scene trying to fix the lines and restore power.
CAL Fire reports Soulsbyville Road is closed between Black Oak and Willow Springs Road. No word on what sparked the blaze, CAL Fire says they are still investigating.
Cooperating Agencies: Tuolumne County SO, Red Cross, Tuolumne County FD, Tuolumne City Fire District, CDCR, CHP, PG&E, Tuolumne Utility District
Click here to view a map of the fire area.
A special thanks to community members Isaac Kight, Kathy Syverson, Kenny Morris, and Katie Canada who sent in photos or provided eye witness accounts from the scene.
Soulsbyville, CA -- CAL Fire is battling a vegetation fire in Soulsbyville.
Crews are on the scene at Armario Road and Elliot Road off of Soulsbyville Road. CAL Fire reports structures are in danger including homes.
Kenny Morris a home owner in the area says "I see fifty foot flames and homes in danger including my own. There are plane flying over head and the fire just keeps getting bigger."
CAL Fire says power lines are down. No word on what sparked the blaze of the rate of spread.
Click here for a map of the fire site.
Arnold, CA -- Calaveras County Sheriff's Detectives searched a home on the 1900 block of Tamarack Drive in Arnold recently.
Sheriff's Officials say the search warrant stemmed from an ongoing investigation of several burglaries in the area over the past 30 days. Detectives say during the search they found household items, alcoholic beverages, firearms, and tools believed to be stolen from at least three separate home burglaries.
Detectives arrested 23 year old Eric Scott Schroeder of Arnold for Possession of Stolen Property, Residential Burglary, and Resist/obstruct peace officer. Schroeder was also booked on additional charges not related to the burglary those include violation of a protective Order, damaging a telephone line and burglary.
Also arrested was 22 year old Braden Beaumont Griffin of Arnold for Possession of Stolen Property, Residential Burglary, and Grand Theft of a firearm.
The burglary investigation is ongoing.
Click here for a map of the arrest area.
Calaveras County, CA -- Calaveras County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to take precautions as we'll see steamy temps through next Tuesday.
The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement. They say the Mother Lode will see temps in the triple digits for the daytime.
Calaveras County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services is highlighting the impending heat period for public awareness because we have been fortunate to have had relatively mild summer temperatures for the past two years. They say they're concerned some residents may not be as conscientious about heat safety as they were previously.
They say the warning is targeted at those who work in prolonged heat in outdoor occupations, children in their last week of summer break staying out in the heat, and to agricultural animals. They also caution the elderly, pets, and those without air conditioners.
Those who use fans instead of air conditioners will need to drink extra portions of water as fans will dehydrate a person faster than air conditioners.
Here are some tips to beat the heat:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.
3. Never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle.
4. Wear light weight and light colored clothing.
The funding is in place for the Mono Way widening project, running from Greenley Road to Fir Drive.
Funding will come from traffic impact mitigation fees that have been paid by developers to both the city and county since 1987. 90 percent of the $3.5 million will come from the county and 10 percent from the city. This morning the Tuolumne County Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the county's $3.2 million share.
It was noted that the project could come in slightly over budget, because of plans to upgrade by $95,000 a planned retaining wall on the north side of Mono Way, near Fir Drive. The photo is a rendering of what it will likely resemble. The retaining wall will extend 1,365 ft., and it would have the appearance of a stone wall, rather than a simple slab of concrete.
Construction should start early next year and the overall project will take around six months to complete.
Soulsbyville, CA - Tuolumne County Sheriff's Officials are investigating costly damage done by vandals overnight.
Sheriff's Officials say they started getting calls around 8:30 this morning from several victims about the damage. When deputies went to investigate the scene at the Sonora Vista subdivision in Soulsbyville they found the vandals had hit several homes and vehicles.
Deputies say the suspects used a sharp object to scratch the paint on victim's cars and sprayed black paint on their houses. They say the vandals caused thousands of dollars in damage to the properties.
Sheriff's Officials say the incident is under investigation. Anyone with any information about this crime is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at
Click here for a map of where the vandals hit.
A Groveland man is headed to prison for sexual acts against a minor.
The Tuolumne County Superior Court sentenced 38-year-old Brandon Varner to three years in prison for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. The crime happened last May at a Pine Mountain Lake residence. The victim's mother reported that Varner "inappropriately touched" her daughter.
The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office reports that Varner will serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence and will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.
Sonora, CA -- Some recognizable names were appointed to positions by the Tuolumne County Supervisors.
The Board voted 4-1 this morning to appoint former County Supervisor Mark Thornton to the Oak Grove Cemetery District. Supervisor Liz Bass was the lone vote in opposition. District Four Supervisor John Gray, who defeated Thornton four years ago, made the motion for the appointment. Thornton served on the Oak Grove Cemetery District before being elected County Supervisor. He time as a County Supervisor was from 1997-2008.
In addition, former Supervisorial candidate Jim Garaventa was appointed 5-0 to join the Tuolumne County Planning Commission. It is Garaventa's second go around on the Planning Commission, as he previously served from 2005-08.
Sacramento, CA -- California lawmakers to will take up a gun bill aimed at assault weapons.
SB 249 was introduced by Democratic Senator Leland Yee. The debate over gun regulations has a renewed interest following the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and Sunday's shootings at a Wisconsin Sikh Temple.
California's existing law has allowed for the sale of semi-automatic weapons with easily detachable magazines. Yee argues that a similar type of weapon was used in the Aurora shootings. Yee's legislation would also prohibit assault weapons with pistol grips, telescoping stock, and certain other features from being easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition.
The gun bill will be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week. An early proponent is California Attorney General Kamala Harris. It has opposition from many pro-gun rights organizations.
Sonora, CA -- The Sonora Police Department has two "Most Wanted" suspects this week.
31-year-old Matthew Eugene Carlile and 22-year-old Justin Roy Nelson both have felony warrants for burglary and conspiracy. If you see Carlile or Nelson, or have information regarding their whereabouts, contact the SPD at 532-8141. Do not attempt to approach or contact either of the men. Your call can remain anonymous.
Updated: Carlile has been arrested and booked into Tuolumne County Jail. Nelson is still wanted.
SACRAMENTO - Governor Jerry Brown pledged to work with the California State Legislature to direct millions of dollars in state funds to keep parks open, fix serious park maintenance problems and match donor contributions.
Browns was Tuesday's KVML "Newsmaker of the Day".
Brown thanked all Californians who have contributed time and money to save state parks.
"Much remains to be done to keep our parks open," said Governor Brown. "The disclosure that the Parks department had millions in additional revenues is mixed-it's better to have more money than less, but it's totally unacceptable for Parks personnel to squirrel away public funds. I extend my deepest appreciation for the donors who have come to the aid of our parks in this time of need. I ask for their patience as we take all necessary steps to make sure this never happens again."
Specifically, Governor Brown called for the $20 million from the State Parks and Recreation Fund (SPRF) to be used to:
• Make critically needed maintenance fixes to keep parks from closing-for example, fixing water and waste treatment facilities that, if left as-is, will cause park closures.
• Establish a matching fund for contributions, so that donors know every dollar they give will go further.
The State Parks and Recreation Fund is one-time funding that can only be used for one-time costs.
The Governor is also seeking a $10 million appropriation from Proposition 84 funds for immediate maintenance projects.
"We are grateful for our generous, committed donors. I can't thank them enough," said California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird. "The good news is we will have more to spend on parks this year. The bad news is the problem is much bigger than that. State parks will still have over $1 billion in deferred maintenance and ongoing costs."
To ensure more sound and accountable financial reporting, the Department of Finance is requiring all departments to follow new procedures to reconcile and confirm balances between the Controller's Office and the Governor's budget. In addition to implementing these new procedures, the Department of Finance's Office of State Audits and Evaluations is conducting a thorough audit of all Parks fiscal actions.
Investigations into the Parks funds are ongoing. On July 20, the California Natural Resources Agency announced that the Parks department had not reported $20 million in the State Parks and Recreation Fund, and $34 million in the Off-Highway Vehicle Fund, to the Department of Finance. The Attorney General launched an investigation at the request of Governor Brown, who ordered a full Parks department audit by the Department of Finance. The Governor also accepted the resignation of then-Parks Director Ruth Coleman, appointed a new acting interim director and directed the dismissal of three senior Parks employees.
Of the $54 million total, $20 million is eligible for appropriation by the Legislature for management, protection, planning and acquisition.
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.