Sacramento, CA - The Associated Press reports one of the nation's top credit rating agencies is questioning the financial stability of California cities.
The AP says Moody's Investors Service will begin a wide-ranging review of municipal finances in California. The AP says worries about the growing number of cities in California hurting financially prompted the check up. The AP reports Moody's Investors Service says it sees is a growing threat of increased city bankruptcies and bond defaults.
The AP says today Moody's issued a report saying that the growing fiscal distress in many cities in the nation's most populous state is putting bond holders at risk.
Sacramento, CA -- California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Law Enforcement Division Chief Nancy Foley retired today. In one of her last official duties, Foley presided over the California Game Warden Academy graduation in Paradise, California.
DFG Director Charlton H. Bonham says "Chief Foley took California's game wardens from under the radar to international acclaim." He adds "She will be missed."
DFG Officials says Chief Foley spent 25 years in various capacities within the Law
Enforcement Division. They say she was instrumental in raising the profile of California game wardens by securing better and more clearly marked patrol vehicles, developing the K-9 program and helping get National Geographic Channel's Wild Justice, a show featuring California game wardens, to the airwaves.
DFG Officials say Foley was selected recently as the Western Association of Fish and
Wildlife Agencies' (WAFWA) Professional of the Year for 2011.
Dorrington, CA -- The forward rate of spread has been stopped. That's the word from Forest Officials fighting the Ramsey Fire in Calaveras County. The blaze is now 1,155 acres and 45% contained. They say the forest will be open this weekend for the kick off of archery season. Forest officials warn motorists could face delays and urge drivers to slow down and watch out for firefighters.
Forest Officials report fire crews made good progress completing the fire line today on the east side of the blaze. They say crews are still facing challenges on the west side of the fire with steep terrain. Forest Officials say steep terrain and limited access along the Stanislaus River is a major concern and are making direct fire line construction along the blaze challenging for crews.
As the Ramsey Fire continues to burn in the Stanislaus National Forest, residents and visitors may be impacted by smoke. Forest Officials say smoke impacts will be greater in the morning and evening hours. They urge you to plan your outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. They say up-slope breezes occur during the day, which will often take smoke into higher elevations. In the evening, these winds change direction and bring smoke down slope to lower elevations.
Forest Officials say motorists traveling on Highway 4 should expect extended delays due to the fire crews, as well as fire and heavy smoke crossing the road. They report these road closures:
- Highway 4-Extended delays and partial closures when needed for firefighter and public safety.
- Forest Road 6N81Y
- Forest Road 6N79
Sonora, CA -- Several events are planned for tomorrow. An important event this weekend says they want to help the fairgrounds survive for another 75 years. Sponsored by the Friends of the Mother Lode Fairground, the event hopes to raise enough money to help the fairgrounds stay open all year despite the state cutting funding. Admission to the event and parking are free. Event goers can by tickets for a barbecue offered between 1 and 7pm. There will also be music, raffles, auctions, displays, demonstrations, craft vendors and children's activities. Ticket information is available here.
Calaveras Big Trees annual celebration of "Family Day" is set for Saturday August 18. The celebration features educational and fun programs on wild animals, a visit by Smokey Bear, a Birds of Prey exhibit, activity booths and lots of activities for children and youth. This annual event is hosted by Calaveras Big Trees Association, the non-profit group that raises money to support educational and interpretive activities within the park.
Crafts and programs running from 10am to 3pm at the Big Trees Park will feature the popular "Wild Things" program at 12:30 pm. There will be a butterfly release at 2:30pm. Booths will be staffed by MiWok Indians, fly fishing experts, volunteers from the Logging Museum and provide a hands-on reptile display and a fire truck demonstration. Food and drink will be available, or participants can bring a picnic. More details are in our event calendar here.
Other weekend events include music and movies in the local parks and all the local farmer's markets will continue into September and some will continue to the end of October.
The school bells are starting to ring across the Mother Lode.
Some students have now started class, while many others will begin next week. This weekend's Mother Lode Views will feature a pair of local High School Principals. It is a chance to hear from new Summerville High School Principal David Johnstone, as well as Sonora High School Principal Todd Dearden.
The pair will talk about enrollment figures, new course offerings and how technology is impacting student life.
Click here to find an earlier story showing all of the school start dates.
Yosemite National Park, CA -- Rangers say they plan to search through the weekend in hopes of finding 6 year old Jacob Adams from Orange County, California. Jacob's brother, 10 year old Andrew, was pulled out of the Merced River by a park visitor, who gave him CPR, but it was unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.
The two brothers were visiting the park with an extended family group and were hiking to the Vernal Fall Footbridge on Wednesday afternoon. They stopped to take a break and got into the river and were swept by the strong current. Andrew's body was pulled from the river about 150 yards below the footbridge. An intensive search began immediately for Jacob.
Rangers are searching in and around the Merced River from the Vernal Fall Footbridge to Happy Isles. This mile long stretch of river is characterized by large boulders, chutes, and small waterfalls. Rangers say although the river level is low, the current in sections of the river is deceptively swift.
Click here for a map of the search site.
Sonora, CA -- There is little to report when it comes to last month's state and local county unemployment rates.
The California Employment Development Department reports that the rate in Tuolumne County was unchanged at 11.7 percent, and Calaveras County remained the same at 13.1 percent.
The state's unemployment rate also failed to move from 10.7 percent. Categories that added jobs last month include financial services, education, health, and hospitality. Sectors that lost jobs include construction, transportation, trade and manufacturing.
Marin County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state, 6.7 percent, and Imperial County had the highest at 29.9 percent.
Dorrington, CA -- The Ramsey Fire in Calaveras County has now reached 45 percent containment.
1,155 acres has burned about 10 miles east of Dorrington. Fire crews made good progress yesterday completing a fire line on the east side of the fire. Steep terrain, and limited access along the Stanislaus River, remains a major challenge to containing the west side of the fire. A portable retardant mixing station has been set up at Bear Valley so that helicopters can reload more quickly.
Motorists traveling on Highway 4 should prepare for delays this weekend. Visibility is low due to smoke.
As reported previously, the Forest Service says the 16 homes in the area are no longer considered in danger. Three firefighters have reported injuries.
Jamestown, CA-- The 6th Annual Meals on Wheels fundraiser is coming soon to Jamestown.
Co-chair Ron Patel was Friday's KVML "Newsmaker of the Day".
Patel says the public is invited Saturday, August 25th from 5:00-9:00 pm for a fun evening and worthy cause at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.
"We like to change the theme each year," said Patel. "Last year was a Roaring 20's theme, and this year we picked a Las Vegas theme. We'll have probably have several Elvises show up for the costume contest, plus there will be Las Vegas style entertainment and other different twists this year."
Sierra Senior Providers in Sonora is responsible for the Meals on Wheels program. Patel says this food service is vital to the senior community.
"Meals on Wheels serves nearly 500 seniors during the course of the year and we also put out about 60,000 meals during the year," said Patel. "The event that we're having on the 25th is a major fundraiser for us because it does take a lot of money to make sure all of these seniors are taken care of."
Last year over $75,000 was raised for Tuolumne County's Meals on Wheels program.
The event features a train ride at Railtown, dinner, entertainment, a live auction, a silent auction and raffle prizes.
For ticket information call Sierra Senior Providers at 533-2622 or visit www.sierraseniorproviders.org
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.