Top Stories Of The Week - 4-6-2012

Top Stories in El Dorado County for the week of March 31 to April 6 2012

#19 Court Order Prohibits Motorized Vehicle Travel on 42 Popular OHV Routes
Portions of 42 off-highway-vehicle routes that cross meadows in the Eldorado National Forest may be closed to motor vehicle travel this recreation season while the Forest Service completes an environmental analysis, announced Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy.  Some these routes include: Barrett Lake Jeep Trail; Squaw Ridge Four Wheel Drive Trail; Clover Valley/ Deer Valley Trail; Strawberry Four Wheel Drive Trail; Carson Emigrant Trail; Allen’s Camp Motorcycle Trail and the Bucks Pasture Motorcycle Trail. The Rubicon Four Wheel drive Trail is not affected by this court order. A map and a complete list of the routes affected by the court order will be posted on the Eldorado National Forest website.

#18 El Dorado County Losing Population
Once-booming El Dorado County lost residents last year, one of 18 California counties that saw its population shrink from 2010 to 2011, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates.  Two factors explain the drop: low birth rates and more residents leaving the county than coming. Last year, El Dorado County saw about 9 births for every 1,000 residents -- 35 percent below the statewide average. About 500 more residents left the county last year than came to it.

#17 El Dorado County Ranks in Top 10% 0f Healthy Counties in California
Where we live impacts our health, and while medical care is important, much of what affects health occurs outside of medical care settings.  The project assigned a ranking to all but two of the 58 counties in California based on health outcomes and the various economic, social, behavioral and environmental factors that influence health.  El Dorado County Ranked #5 for health factors.

#16 Vandals Cause $8,100 In Damage To Herbert Green School
They damaged everything from door handles and light fixtures too drinking fountains and air conditioning units.  The vandalism happened while the school was closed for Spring Break.

#15 Two Run Against Appointed El Dorado County Judge
As a rule, Superior Court judge elections are, well, sober as a judge. Incumbents frequently return to the bench without facing a substantial challenge at the polls. The race for Office 7 in El Dorado Superior Court is different, with two challengers – Joseph Hoffman and Stephen W. Valentine – taking on appointed Judge Warren Stracener. None of the candidates will directly criticize his opponents on the record, but it appears clear the challengers consider Stracener vulnerable.

#14 CHP campaign Targeting Drivers Using Cellphones Yields Citations, Arrests
During the first three days of a statewide campaign to discourage distracted driving, the California Highway Patrol's Valley Division issued 316 citations to drivers for violating the state's cellphone laws.  The month long campaign aims to cite drivers who are distracted by their cellphones or other devices within the vehicle. It is designed to deter motorists from using cellphones without a hands-free device and to encourage compliance with California's cellphone laws, officials said.

#13 John Knight Runs On His Record
Shortly after El Dorado Hills’ voters elected John Knight to his District 1 seat on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors in 2008 Village Life predicted that his vehicle, a tired 1984 Mercedes that looked every bit of its 335,000 odometer reading, wouldn’t survive his first term. The suspension and upholstery had sagged to the point that Knight’s wife Georgi couldn’t see over the steering wheel. She requested its retirement but he hesitated, explaining that the old diesel made a statement: “No one who drives a car like this would ever be frivolous with taxpayer money.”

#12 Once Upon a Time in Placerville - El Dorado County High School
Gold Country Sister Tina post is about an old school which no longer exists, the El Dorado County High School. She shares old postcards which show the building Starting out with a Christmas card showing the high school, sent to Rose Birk of St. Louis, Missouri in December 1910.

#11 Beyonce, the Tiny Puppy, Won't be Adopted
Beyonce, the tiny puppy who fit into a spoon at birth, will not be adopted out anytime soon. She will, instead, stay at the Grace Foundation, as an ambassador for rescue dogs everywhere.  Beyonce, a female dachshund mix born March 8 to a rescue dog that was found abandoned, weighed just 1 ounce at birth.

#10 Justin Woodcock of South Lake Tahoe Busted with Plane Full of Pot in Nebraska
The U.S. attorney's office in Omaha says 29-year-old Justin Woodcock, of South Lake Tahoe, is charged with intent to distribute marijuana.  Prosecutors say Woodcock was arrested after he landed a small plane with 175 pounds of pot in Nebraska on March 9.  If convicted, Woodcock faces up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and forfeiture of the airplane. Woodcock has a Commercial pilot’s license and runs a video business called Rasta-Cam with the slogan "We shoot film, really HIGH, from the RastaCam that is.."

#9 El Dorado County’s Land Use Policy Programmatic Update continues moving forward.
The county has wrapped up its’ first round of public input workshops.  Discussion of proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance include: the Noise Element; the Conservation and Open Space Element; the Agriculture and Forest Element; and High-Density Residential Policy Changes.

#8 County Chamber Endorses Knight, Nutting - Punts on Dist 3
The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee announced today its endorsement for District One Supervisor, John Knight, and District Two Supervisor, Ray Nutting. The PAC voted not to endorse a candidate for District Three at this time. The criterion for endorsing a candidate begins with who is most closely aligned with the Chamber of Commerce mission statement.

#7 Home Alone 12-Year-Old Foils Shingle Springs Burglar Kyle Frank
Davis police arrested a 37-year-old Shingle Springs man named Kyle Frank on Thursday after he robbed a home.  The incident began when a 12-year-old boy, who was home alone, heard someone knocking at the front door of his residence. The boy did not answer the door and did not make any noise. Moments later, the victim observed a male suspect in the backyard. The victim ran into a bathroom at the back of the house, locked the door, and called 911. The suspect managed to gain entry into the residence by forcing open the side door that leads into the garage.

#6 South Lake Tahoe authorities make arrest in 31-year murder case of Richard Swanson
A Carmichael, Calif., man has been arrested in the 31-year-old murder case of Richard Swanson, South Lake Tahoe police report.  The robbery/homicide occurred on Aug. 14, 1980 in South Lake Tahoe at what was then the Shell Gas Station located at the “Y” on the corner of Lake Tahoe Blvd and Emerald Bay Road.  On August 14, 1980 Richard Swanson, who was 16, was murdered during a robbery at a "Y" gas station. His body was bound and gagged, his death resulted from suffocation.  Ron and Sharon Swanson have since praised law enforcement for re-activating the cold case. Though the leads have been few and far between, the Secret Witness program remained committed to solving the crime.

#5 Tracy Mimno Out, Bryan DeLugo In, as Red Hawk Casino General Manager
Red Hawk Casino announced Tuesday that Tracy Mimno, General Manager, had resigned to pursue other opportunities.  Red Hawk Casino was pleased to announce the promotion of Bryan DeLugo to General Manager.  DeLugo had been a member of the senior leadership team at Red Hawk Casino since 2010, most recently serving as Vice President of Casino Operations.

#4 Self-Appointed Miwok Chief Cesar Caballero Jailed for Contempt
In a Trademark dispute case, self-proclaimed Shingle Springs Miwok Chief Cesar Caballero goes to jail again, this time for refusing to withdraw a fraudulent document submitted to the county as demanded by the Federal court. Caballero has already served 55 days in solitary confinement in a federal prison for his contempt of court orders.  Cesar Caballero claims that he would rather face a nine month sentence in Federal prison then turn over papers to the court supporting his claim that he is rightfully authorized to use the name "Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians" but a statement released by the Tribe refutes that claim. "Mr. Caballero is not sitting in jail today because he failed to 'submit evidence that his tribe is the true Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians.' He is sitting in jail because he has chosen to defy a federal court order directing him to take certain steps to unwind his fraudulent course, including the withdrawal of the fictitious document that started this litigation."  The case will start its jury trial at the Sacramento Courthouse on September 24th.

#3 Dunnigan Man found Guilty of 41 Counts for Sexual Assault and Kidnapping of 13-year-old El Dorado Hills Girl
Jason Sigur, 36, was convicted Tuesday for 11 charges of communicating with a minor with intent to commit a lewd and lascivious act, one charge of kidnapping for purpose of child molestation, eight charges of burglary and 20 charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14.  Sigur, a previously convicted sex offender, kidnapped the teen early Oct. 15, 2010 from her home in El Dorado Hills, where she was initially reported as a missing person. Yolo County Sheriff's deputies found the girl later the same morning in Dunnigan.  Sigur will be sentenced Tuesday, May 1. His sentence may be higher since he is a convicted sex offender.

#2 Court Looks at Fate of Children in Cameron Park Slaying of their Mom
Their mother is dead. Their father is behind bars, accused in her killing. Who should take care of the Winkler children? Proceedings began Thursday inside an El Dorado County courtroom to decide that wrenching question. Should the three young children stay with their maternal grandfather, Napa artist Don Hatfield, with whom they have lived since their father stabbed their mother to death in late February in their Cameron Park home? Or should Eva, 5, Ariel, 4, and Alex, 10 months, be sent to live with their father's parents, Janeth and George Winkler, a social worker and a retired farmer who live in a small town in Iowa? Hatfield and Janeth Winkler both appeared in court Thursday in one of the first steps toward deciding the children's fates. Ultimately a judge will rule, based on investigations of the homes and lives of Hatfield and the Winklers, where the children will stay as their father's criminal case moves forward. Todd Winkler, 45, has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of his 37-year-old wife, Rachel, on Feb. 27 inside their home near Cameron Air Park.

Top Story of the week:

#1 Memorial at Poor Red's for late bartender Rodney "Rod" Kinser
 An impromptu memorial to former Poor Red's Bartender Rod Kinser appeared at the front of Poor Red's in El Dorado soon after his death.  Just as Poor Red's is a fixture in the small town of El Dorado, so was Rod, who had been bartender there starting in 1964.  Many locals went to school with Rod and loved going into Red's hoping Rod was there because "that guy was always smiling". He was known as a great guy and turned 65 this year.

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