Investigators: hunter started Rim Fire



Firefighters have conducted extensive backfire operations over the past week. Photo: Rim Fire information team9:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5. An unnamed hunter started the Rim Fire when he or she allowed an illegal fire to escape on Aug. 17. “No marijuana cultivation sites were located near the origin of the fire,” the fire information team said. “No arrests have been […]

Herculean effort gains ground on Rim Fire




A pair of DC-10 widebody jets have made dozens of drops on the Rim Fire—a factor that has likely turned the tide against the blaze. Operated by 10 Tanker Air of Victorville, the jets were being refuelled and loaded at the former Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, the fire information team said.After more than two weeks, firefighters have turned […]

Local government layoff axe hits two




This summer’s Rim Fire and last year’s hantavirus outbreak have had some effect on the county’s tourist-tax revenue, but the overall budget picture remains strong enough to avoid sweeping budget cuts in county operations. All county employees were not spared pain at last week’s budget hearings however. Two public works employees had their positions eliminated. Engineering technician Eddie Scherf and […]

Drone flights spark debate

TECHNOLOGY & LAW


At least one Predator drone has flown missions over the Rim Fire over the past week. The use of the reconaissance and weapon system over the U.S. has drawn some concern from privacy advocates. This image shows a military Predator armed for attack operations. The National Guard Predator used over the fire was not armed.The use of a military Predator […]

Victims granted payment reprieve



Business owners and feepayers impacted by the Rim Fire in Mariposa County, as discussed in a Proclamation of a State of Emergency, may request an extension to file their returns, relief of penalties and/or interest from some taxes and fees, or to replace copies of records lost to damage, the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) announced last week. “We […]

Young man dies on Highway 140



A 20-year-old driver died early on Sunday when his GMC pickup left the highway and flipped, ejecting him from the vehicle. Daniel James Henning of Atwater was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, a subsequent report said. Henning was traveling from the direction of Mariposa towards Merced on Highway 140 around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday. […]

BBC TV program looks back at crime



Convicted killer Cary Stayner, who resides on death row at the federal prison at San Quentin is escorted from the Mariposa County Courthouse. He is the subject of a new documentary on the Investigation Discovery cable network.A new British Broadcasting Company (BBC) television documentary is looking back on the 1999 Mariposa County killing spree that ended with the arrest of […]

Sheriff’s Daily Dispatch Log



August 26: • A trapped opossum was reported on Lehamite Fall. • A call reporting a neighbor dispute was received from Dusty Oak Road. • Illegal dumping was reported on Highway 49 South. • A harassment reported was taken on Circle Drive. • A sweepstakes scam was reported from Highway 49. August 27: • A call reporting grand theft was […]

Yosemite Conservancy creates dedicated fire restoration fund

RIM FIRE

Hillsides scorched by the Rim Fire looked like a moonscape last week. The Yosemite Conservancy has vowed to assist with Park restoration efforts.The Yosemite Conservancy has established a special fund to help restore trails, facilities and natural habitat in Yosemite National Park damaged by the Rim Fire that has blackened extensive portions of the Park and surrounding forests and communities. […]

Train project could clog communities



This electric, high-speed train in China is similar to one now in development for California’s Central Valley. Dense housing units near train stations may result if planners aren’t wary, a University of California report warns.People in Le Grand, Chowchilla, Merced and other Central Valley towns should get organized now to avoid the potential pitfalls of California’s high-speed rail project, a […]