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2023 News Story Overview

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At the end of December 2023, we take a look back at the most popular news stories of the year. This year there were no major fires with large evacuations propelling fire news to the most read list. The top most read news story of the year is “Law Enforcement in California on Alert Due to Day of Rage” The story was written on October 13 after the Hamas attacks on Israel killed over 1,300 people and Khaled Mashal, a former Hamas leader, called for a “global day of jihad.”

Other law enforcement stories in the top most read news stories this year are the hostage situation in Phoenix Lake area in February and school lockdowns. The hostage situation lasted over five hours and ended with the suspect, Michael Snell, giving himself up. The two major lockdowns of Sonora High School were due to loud gunshot sounds on April 6 many officers were on campus conducting a classroom-by-classroom search that took over three hours. The other, more recent lockdown on November 9, turned out to be a firecracker and was resolved a half hour.

The Sonora Police warned the public and parents after disturbing discovery in March. A vehicle search of 36-year-old Jonathon Gavi of Jamestown uncovered large amounts of meth and lethal doses of fentanyl in packaging that looked similar to Skittles candy.

Also in March we reported a Sonora teen was killed south of Deer Creek Road in Angels Camp and 18-year-old Savannah Cooper of Angels Camp was charged with felony DUI. In addition to the teen, an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy suffered major injuries, Russell and Rachel Webster both 52 suffered moderate injuries, in the car with Cooper was another minor and they both suffered moderate injuries in the crash. Cooper has plead not guilty to the charges and has court dates set in 2024.

Another incident, that did not involved law enforcement but had many concerned, was when a PG&E helicopter was surveying the area around downtown Sonora. The annual PG&E survey work took time to officially confirm and our news story with the details is one of our most read stories of 2023.

At the beginning of the year a storm caused flooding that damaged many roads and homes in around Valley Springs, Burson, and Copperopolis, and an EF1 tornado in Oakdale was confirmed by the Weather Service January 10. Later in March there was more flooding and an EF1 was confirmed to have touched down near the Old Melones Road near the dam in Tuolumne County.

Yosemite news was in the top most read news of the year, the most popular being “Yosemite has Request about Half Dome”  The request is to not leave gloves after hiking Half Dome. We also reported “Overnight Parking ends in Yosemite” and “Bears skip Half Dome Permit Requirements.” The most recent update is Yosemite will be requiring reservations in 2024 for several dates and all days from July 1 to August 16 as detailed here.

Yosemite and the Mother Lode area offer ideal conditions for viewing the stars. The most popular astronomy related news story was about Jupiter and Venus in the story “Conjunction of two planets visible in night skies.

On September 30 a Calaveras football player was injured, the news story detailing the incident and recovery are in the news story “Calaveras JV Football Player is Lucky to be Alive

At the end of October there was a casino jackpot win of $439,972 and it became a top story “Local Casino Slot Machine Pays Out Record Breaking.

Other Major traffic incidents and other sad news

Husband and Wife Killed in HWY 108 Motorcycle Crash
Triple fatal crash on HWY 4 in Calaveras
Update: Highway 108 Crash Stalling Traffic in Sonora
Missing man found dead in the Twain Harte area
Missing Hiker Ann Herford Found Deceased
Woman Arrested in Sonora for intentionally crashing into Barbershop
Structure Fire in Sonora closed Mono Way near Grocery Outlet
Three people were arrested at the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne—two for burglary

Other popular California state news stories

New CA law raises minimum wage for fast food workers to $20
Federal judge again strikes down CA law banning gun magazines of more than 10 rounds
Things to know about a federal judge’s ruling blocking California’s gun law

2023 was an eventful year and we at Clarke Broadcasting look forward to bringing you local news in 2024.

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