Wednesday, April 18, 2018

ACES Waste donates recycling bins to Amador schools

Samuel Moreno, warehouseman for Amador County Unified School District, accepts a donation of recycling bins from ACES Vice President Paul Molinelli, Jr.
The bins will be used in classrooms to collect paper and other items for recycling. Over the past five years, ACES’ customers have recycled over 6 million pounds of recyclable items. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mule Creek State Prison Investigating Inmate Death as a Homicide

April 9, 2018 
                                          CONTACT: Lt. Angelo Gonzales
(209) 274-5080

Mule Creek State Prison Investigating Inmate Death as a Homicide

IONE – Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) officials are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide.

During a routine security check on Monday, April 9, inmate Robert E. Hunter was found unresponsive in his cell with blunt force injuries to his face. Prison medical staff pronounced him deceased at 7:57 a.m.

Hunter, 77, was received by CDCR from Riverside County in January 2010 with a 15-years-to-life sentence with the possibility of parole under California’s “Three Strikes” law on a charge of oral copulation of a child.

Hunter’s cellmate, Matthew Wanser, was taken into custody as a suspect. Wanser, 46, is serving a life-without-the-possibility of parole after being committed from San Diego County in November 1998 with two counts of first-degree murder.
The incident is currently being investigated by the prison’s Investigative Services Unit. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

Inmate movement has been limited as the investigation continues.

MCSP, which opened in 1987, houses more than 4,100 minimum-, medium- and maximum-security inmates. The prison, located in Amador County, provides educational, medical and mental health services and employs more than 1,400 people.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Jackson Fire Department: New Fire Chief Debbie Mackey

We are happy to introduce the new Fire Chief for the Jackson Fire Department, Debbie Mackey.
Chief Mackey has been with the department for almost 3 years now, serving as the Fire Marshal. She also comes to us with many previous years with the City of Ione Fire Department, serving as a line officer as well as the Fire Marshal. Chief Mackey has a degree from San Joaquin Delta College in Public Safety, is currently in the Leadership and Administration program at the National Fire Academy and is a California certified Fire Marshal and Fire Investigator.
We are very excited for the future of the Jackson Fire and working with Chief Mackey. Help us in welcoming her to our department and our family!

Chief Debbie Mackey, Jackson FD

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

CAL FIRE AEU Enters Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement with the Lockwood Fire Protection District

AWA Safety Program benefits from big insurance refund, Hazardous Tree Removal to begin this Spring

SUTTER CREEK, CA Amador Water Agency Directors received a very pleasant surprise Thursday in the form of a refund check for $148,760.00 from the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority. The windfall was a refund on insurance payments based on the Water Agency’s excellent safety record and infrequent insurance losses.

“This refund is the result of efforts on the part of all the staff here at the Water Agency,” said General Manager Gene Mancebo.

The AWA Board approved reinvesting the refund in staff training and safety programs over the next three years.

Also at their regular Board meeting on Thursday, AWA Directors approved contract for a tree service to begin removing as many as 450 hazardous trees that threaten water or wastewater facilities throughout the county.

AWA has received a California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and California Disaster Assistance Act-funded grant for Hazard Tree Removal in Amador County. AWA's plan is to remove approximately 450 dead or dying trees which, should they fall, would directly and negatively impact AWA water and wastewater infrastructure in Amador County.

The CalOES grant covers 75 percent of tree removal costs. AWA has applied for and received a Cal Fire "Local Assistance for Tree Mortality Grant" grant to cover 25 percent of the remaining cost of Phase I of this project. The two grants total $27,000.00 for tree removal this season.
The contract for tree removal was awarded to Richard M. Stevens Co. of Sutter Creek.

AWA Directors received a clean bill of health after the annual Agency financial audit conducted by the independent accounting firm of Leaf and Cole.  Auditor Michael Zizzi summarized the 2016-2017 audit report atThursday’s AWA Board meeting and noted that Agency financial policies and procedures were in good order. During the audit review, Directors discussed state requirements for funding the Agency’s long-term pension liability, a challenge for government agencies throughout the country. Zizzi also encouraged the Directors to work to build up the Agency’s cash reserves, described as “on the cusp of being sufficient,” which have been reduced over the past several years by the Great Recession and recent mandatory water conservation.

Amador Water Agency Directors received a refund check for $148,760.00 from the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority, due to AWA’s excellent safety record. From left: Sandra Smith (ACWA-JPIA); AWA Directors Paul Molinelli, Jr., Robert Manassero, Art Toy, Rich Farrington, Gary Thomas; AWA Human Resources Manager Karen Gish, AWA General Manager Gene Mancebo, Andy Sells (ACWA-JPIA).

A stand of dead pine trees slated for removal by AWA near Ranch House Estates. AWA contractors will remove up to 450 dead or dying trees this summer that threaten water or wastewater infrastructure.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Dead Trees in Amador County Threaten County Roads and Infrastructure

The cumulative impacts of the prolonged drought and bark beetle attacks of recent years and their devastating effects on trees in Amador County continue and are likely to increase in the future. Many of the trees killed over the past several years are now starting to decompose and fall, causing damage to structures and creating obstacles to vehicle access on County roads. The County has aggressively pursued a Tree Mortality Program of removing dead and dying trees along its roads and to date has authorized contracts for tree removal on hundreds of privately owned parcels.

The tree removal is offered free of charge to landowners. Yet, there are over 180 properties with dead trees potentially affecting County roads where owners have not returned right of entry forms to allow the assessment of dead trees and their removal. This is a critical oversight because the dead trees along County roads on private property not only represent a threat to the roads but they are a liability to the property owner. If trees fall and damage roads or cause damage or injuries to travelers, the private property owner may be responsible for compensation. In some cases, trees that threaten County roads also threaten houses and other assets. 

A new round of mailing right of entry forms to the owners who did not return forms was just implemented. Property owners are urged to return them as soon as possible. The benefits of the County program include removal of the trees at no cost to the property owner and alleviation of the hazards posed by the trees.

Property owners who have questions about the County program or who would like to report dead trees that could affect County roads should contact the County Tree Mortality Program Coordinator, Dr. Richard Harris at (707) 685-5508 or at

The County's tree mortality webpage has additional information:

Thursday, February 8, 2018

AWA Employee receives Navy & Marine Corps Commendation

Petty Officer and AWA Assistant Engineer Lucas Carthew Recognized for Meritorious Service

(Sutter Creek) Amador Water Agency Assistant Engineer Lucas Carthew, a Petty Officer in the Navy Reserves, has been awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and was a finalist in competition for the Naval Sea (NAVSEA) Systems Command Sailor of the Year for 2016 – 2017.

Machinist Mate First Class (Surface Warfare) Carthew distinguished himself through exceptional leadership and superior performance of his duties coordinating career information for over 20 sailors. According to his commendation, his efforts led to staff reenlistments and advancements, ensuring that his command’s military training, medical readiness and mission requirements were well above Navy standards.

The Commendation Medal is a United States military decoration presented since 1943 to service members for their sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. Machinist Mate First Class Carthew is recognized for “upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”

Carthew joined the Navy in 2004, served on the USS Ronald Reagan, and left active duty shortly before joining the Navy Reserves in 2011. He is the Leading Petty Officer for the SurgeMain Unit at Navy Operational Support Center Sacramento, and is president of the NOSC Sacramento First Class Petty Officers Association.  He is a graduate of Sacramento State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

As one of 10 candidates for Sailor of the Year (5 Active, 5 Reservists), Carthew was invited to Washington, D.C. in January to visit the Capitol and the Pentagon. While he was not selected as the NAVSEA Sailor of the Year, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for meritorious service while serving as the Leading Petty Officer for SurgeMain Sacramento in FY17.

As Assistant Engineer at AWA, Carthew is working with property owners and developers, responding to needs for water and wastewater infrastructure. He came to AWA in April, 2017, from Davis, California where he worked for a manufacturing company.

 “The Amador Water Agency honors veterans and service members, and we are proud to recognize Luke for his accomplishments, both as a sailor and as a valued member of our engineering staff,” said AWA General Manager Gene Mancebo.

Amador Water Agency Assistant Engineer Lucas Carthew, a Petty Officer in the Navy Reserves, has been awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and was a finalist in competition for the Naval Sea (NAVSEA) Systems Command Sailor of the Year for 2016 – 2017.

Carthew has recently returned from Washington D.C., where he was invited along with the other 10 finalists for Sailor of the Year to visit the Capitol, Pentagon and national landmarks. Here he poses with the “Lone Sailor” at the United States Navy Memorial.

In December, 2017, Carthew was announced as the Navy Reserves SurgeMain Unit Pacific Region Sailor of the Year.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Plymouth Roundabout Project Ribbon Cutting - Tues Feb 27

The City of Plymouth is the gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, one of California's significant tourism and agricultural regions.  Plymouth, Caltrans, and the Amador County Transportation Commission are gathering on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 10:30 am to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the State Route 49 Plymouth Roundabout.

To RSVP or for more information contact: