Top News Stories
- Fewer Travelers This Weekend?
- Feel The Earthquake?
- Calaveras Reservations Nearly Full For Weekend
- Wet Memorial Day Expected
- The Plans Are Picked
- Ready To Camp?
- Global Warming Call To Action
- Yosemite Safety First
- Local Fire Chief Resigns
- Be Safe This Weekend
- Concerns About Governor's Budget
- What Is The March Against Monsanto - Sonora?
- Road Work In Forest
- Update: Traffic Alert Cancelled
- Yosemite Cable Ready
- Detour & Lengthy Traffic Delay Alert
- McClintock: IRS Wanted Names
- Diverty Is T.C.S.O.'s "Most Wanted"
- Sonora Certified Farmer's Market Is Back
- Summer Hours
Posted on | April 9, 2013 | No Comments
The younger brother of famed skier Bode Miller was found dead after suffering a seizure in his van near Mammoth Lakes, officials said Tuesday.
Chelone Miller, 29, of Easton, N.H., a snowboarder who raced competitively, was found unresponsive near the Mono County town at 12:45 p.m. Sunday, said Jennifer Hansen, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Miller suffered a seizure that may have stemmed from a 2005 motorcycle crash that left him in a coma for 11 days, according to a statement by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
Hansen said an autopsy would be conducted.
Miller, who went by the nickname Chilly, specialized in snowboardcross, in which snowboarders race around a course filled with tight turns, narrow chutes, jumps, berms and steep hills. It became an Olympic event in 2006.
Miller had made “great progress” this past season, said Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. He finished fourth in the 2013 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix in Canyons, Utah, and won the Banzai Tour at the Sugar Bowl resort in the Sierra on March 12.
Miller hoped to qualify for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
His older brother is one of the best-known and most successful U.S. skiers. Bode Miller, 35, won five Olympic medals in 2002 and 2010 and is a two-time World Cup champion.
Posted on | April 8, 2013 | No Comments
Newborn foals are disappearing from the wild burro herds that roam the rocky hills above ranches and rural homes near Moreno Valley.
Residents in the area have noticed the occasional disappearance of foals over the years, but in the past few months as many as five have vanished from one band in the Pigeon Pass area. Some people familiar with the burro families are trying to solve the mystery of what’s happening to the little ones.
Amber-LeVonne Koko, 38, who runs a Moreno Valley burro rescue operation called DonkeyLand, said several young foals, only days old, have vanished suddenly. Koko and some other residents said they suspect that people are taking the young animals.
“Some of the residents have said they believe somebody is doing it for a business,” Koko said. If that is the case, she said, she’s unsure whether the animals might be sold as pets or for food.
Animal experts say it’s more likely that large predators are responsible of the disappearing burros.
John Welsh, spokesman for Riverside County animal control, said the county’s field services commander is pretty sure that nature is the culprit.
“She summed it up as predation,” Welsh said, “either a mountain lion or a pack of coyotes. A momma will protect her baby but not if a mountain lion comes through.”
Koko said she hopes that is the case.
“If it is, it’s part of the wildlife,” she said, “we accept that.”
However, she said residents have found little evidence that predators are to blame. Both she and neighbors have tried to find signs of a kill.
“We’ve searched for hours, for blood or tracks,” she said. They’ve found no tracks, no blood and no carcasses, apart from a foal they knew was stillborn.
Koko’s neighbor, Lydia Thompson, 51, said she is convinced there is a human hand in the disappearances. She said she has seen vans in the area that she considered to be suspicious on several occasions.
“Somebody’s taking them, for what reason I don’t know,” Thompson said. “We’ve been noticing in the past couple of years, the mother have their babies and theyr’re two or three days old, all of a sudden they’re gone. Is it my opinion that they are being taken? Yes. Can I prove it? No.”
Thompson’s home is perched on a hillside, giving her a wide view of the canyon area at the top of Pigeon Pass. She has lived there for 13 years, and like many of the area residents has come to know the burros in the wild herds that graze the mostly private land in the hills that separate Moreno Valley from Loma Linda, Colton and Grand Terrace.
Officials with animal agencies said they were unsure what would motivate anyone to poach young burros.
Alex Neibergs, a horse and burro specialist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Ridgecrest, said capturing the animals would not be easy.
“It doesn’t sound plausible unless somebody goes and ropes it from horseback,” he said. “They’re pretty elusive.”
Thompson isn’t so sure. The Pigeon Pass burros are not as skittish about humans as some wild herds.
“If you corner the mother, it’s easy to take the baby, if you know what you’re doing,” she said.
Population estimates of the burros that wander the hills north of Moreno Valley range from 150 to 300.
Their origin is not well known. But it is believed that a Reche Canyon rancher had acquired about 20 burros from Death Valley and turned them loose in the area in the middle of the last century. Some residents find the animals charming. For others, they are a nuisance.
Brian Cronin, director of San Bernardino County animal control, said his personnel have been talking with people who have small ranches in the area and trying to assess the herds in recent months.
“The complaints, while we’ve been out there, are that the burros have been grazing on private property or eating (the rancher’s) feed supply,” Cronin said.
The burros also can be a hazard for motorists, especially those unaware that a burro might be standing in their path when they round a sudden curve. Caution signs showing a burro silhouette are posted along Pigeon Pass Road.
Koko’s ranch sits at the end of a long dirt driveway, between Pigeon Pass Road and the highest ridges of the hills north of Box Springs Mountain. Several large enclosures hold burros that have been injured or orphaned. She estimates she has spent $75,000 on the nonprofit corporation she started in 2010. The organization’s website is www.donkeyland.org.
Beyond the metal-tube corrals, a group of about two dozen burros, one of the local herds, grazes quietly. A bachelor herd of six males hovers around the front gate of the property.
Koko puts water out for the animals but said she tries to respect their wildness.
When an animal is injured or ill, she said, “we try to keep them in the wild instead of bringing them in.”
Wendy Putrino, 57, is co-director of DonkeyLand. She does small animal and horse rescue at her Mira Loma home but couldn’t resist getting involved with the burros as well.
“The first time you see them, they just touch your heart,” Putrino said. “Once you start hanging around them, they’re magic. You can’t help but want to do something. It’s our duty to save these donkeys.”
That goes beyond finding out what’s happening to the young foals.
Putrino and Koko said they are putting up posters and trying to get the county to install signs to build public awareness about the burros. Very often, they said, people will drive into the area to see the wild herds and often bring food that they offer to the animals. Some of the burros, looking for food, approach cars that have slowed in the road. The two women say that burros in the roadway are a danger to drivers and burros.
In 2005, Saroeutrh Phim, 21, was killed when her car struck a burro in Reche Canyon.
More often, such accidents kill only the burros. When that happens, Putrino said, the herd usually will surround the downed animal.
“They will come together and bray and mourn that donkey,” she said.
Mother donkeys react similarly when their foals are suddenly gone, Koko said. She has heard their cries.
She’s troubled not only by the foals that have disappeared but by what she believes is a shortage of foals in the herds across the canyon. She and her neighbors have recently installed surveillance cameras, hoping to discover what is happening to the young animals.
“We don’t know,” she said. “That’s why we’re doing this. We just want to know.”
Posted on | April 3, 2013 | No Comments
Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz’s marine laboratory have been studying what appears to be the first sea lion that can move its body to the beat of a wide range of music, including oldies and pop hits.
In a study published this week in the American Psychological Association’s academic journal, “Journal of Comparative Psychology,” UC Santa Cruz psychology graduate student Peter Cook demonstrated that a non-human mammal can bob its head to the rhythm.
That mammal is Ronan, a female sea lion born in the wild in 2008 who was rescued from the San Luis Obispo area in 2009 and brought to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito before she arrived in January 2010 at UC Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Laboratory.
Previous studies had shown that “rhythmic entrainment” — as synching movements to a beat is scientifically labeled — had been only seen in parrots and other birds that can mimic vocal noises.
“This is kind of a new frontier,” Cook said.
With Ronan in the Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Laboratory, Cook and his assistant trained her to bob her head to a beat with simple tracks for about three months. After the training she was able to maintain the beat and then, perhaps more impressively, she showed an ability to keep time to new music.
Cook said extensive testing in many conditions showed repeatedly that Ronan’s head movements were not mimicry or a trained behavior.
Her scientist trainers said her favorite track appears to be Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland.”
Cook, who is working with UC Santa Cruz associate professor of psychology Margaret Wilson, hopes to uncover the implications of Ronan’s ability.
“We’re thinking about other animals you could do this with,” he said.
To further the study, more animals would need to be trained and tested to see their beat-keeping ability, he said.
Musical ability has long been associated with solely humans until parrots and similar birds showed, albeit in a limited way, they could mimic sounds and beats.
Two studies were spurred by a 2009 online YouTube video of a cockatoo that appears to be able to dance and move along to the beats in popular music.
“There has been some good work done on birds,” Cook said. “Some of that research is very solid.”
Now sea lions may show that complex vocal learning — as exhibited by birds and humans — is not necessary for the ability to move to the beat.
Cook contends that the brain mechanisms to keep the beat may be more widespread than humans and birds.
UC Santa Cruz spokesman Guy Lasnier said Ronan’s ability to move to the music was initially interpreted as an April Fools joke when news of the study was released on that day.
But in fact, the topic of different animals moving to the beat has been studied in the burgeoning psychological field for years, and Ronan has been training for months and observed for more than a year for her beat-keeping skills, Lasnier said.
(KTVU 2 San Francisco)
Posted on | April 2, 2013 | No Comments
KVML is proud to have a local news department staffed with a full time crew dedicated to bringing original and most importantly, accurate stories to the Mother Lode.
Although the amount of television channels delivering “news” has increased over the last decade, the content has become much worse. This could be due to major consolidation. That would be arguable.
What is not arguable is how similar overall television news coverage has become. Perhaps this was most noticable during last year’s Presidential race. True original content and honest reporting seems to be missing all together.
This clip from last week’s Conan O’Brien show, is meant to be funny. But the overall message is fairly pathetic as we see just how many “local” television affiliates end up reading the same old thing. Rest assured, no one is singled out as this is a common thread between local NBC, CBS, ABC, CW and Fox affiliates. There is no attempt (by any of the affiliates shown) to change the wording, question the source or provide local viewers any form of variance.
Posted on | April 1, 2013 | No Comments
Jim Carrey called Fox News “a giant culture fart” on Friday and hours later, the network decided against taking the high ground by responding on “The Five,” during which host Greg Gutfeld refers to the “washed-up” comic as a civil rights pioneer “of sucking.”
The name calling comes after Carrey debuted “Cold Dead Hand,” a Funny or Die music video attacking opponents of gun control, earlier this week. The video features Carrey parodying deceased National Rifle Association president and “Planet of the Apes” star Charlton Heston, which didn’t sit well with Gutfeld.
The commentator called Carrey a “pathetic tool” earlier this week and on Friday, continued with a similar train of thought.
“I guess Jimmy thought he couldn’t lose a debate to a dead man,” Gutfeld lamented during a monologue to open the show. “That’s what’s really funny — he did and now Charlton Heston has a brighter future in films than Jim Carrey.”
After co-host Bob Beckel assures Gutfeld that his words surely must have “got to him,” each of “The Five” political pundits take turns commenting on the actor’s formal statement, which refers to “Fux News” as “a last resort for kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their extreme and intolerant views.”
“I sincerely believe that in time, good people will lose patience with the petty and poisonous behavior of these bullies,” Carrey’s statement continues. “Fux News will be remembered as nothing more than a giant culture fart that no amount of Garlique could cure.”
“It’s so childish,” Eric Bolling scoffs at Carrey’s remarks, failing to realize his own continue to fuel a fire that mature adults would have let flame out days ago.
(Yahoo News – The Wrap)
Posted on | March 27, 2013 | No Comments
A dog that belongs to a relative of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords attacked and killed a sea lion along the Laguna Beach shoreline, police said Monday.
A video of the violent encounter shows Giffords’ stepdaughter and husband trying to pull the canine from the limp mammal as the surf rolls in. A copy of the video was sent to The Los Angeles Times.
Laguna Beach police received a call at 2 p.m. Saturday and arrived to find that the 65-pound American bulldog mix had broken free from its 18-year-old owner and attacked a beached sea lion on a public beach near the exclusive Montage Laguna Beach, Capt. Jason Kravetz said in an email.
The video taken by a local resident shows Giffords’ stepdaughter struggling to free the sea lion. Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, appears later in the video, running down and pulling the dog off the sea lion, both police and a senior advisor to Giffords confirmed.
(Warning: Explicit language)
Kelly and Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, are vacationing in Laguna Beach.
Kelly brought the dog back to the house where the family is staying and crated it in the basement before meeting with police, said Jen Bluestein, senior advisor for Americans for Responsible Solutions, a political action committee started by Giffords and Kelly, in an email.
Giffords was not at the scene of the incident and has no connection to the dog, she added.
The dog lives with the stepdaughter in Houston; Giffords and Kelly live in Tucson.
Police did not cite the owner “because it was legal for her to have the dog on the beach this time of year, and she did have it leashed. It was so strong that it pulled free of her when it saw the (sea lion),” Kravetz said.
It’s illegal for an owner to encourage a dog to attack marine life. “That wasn’t the case in this situation,” Kravetz said.
The sea lion died.
(Los Angeles Times)
Posted on | March 26, 2013 | No Comments
Two men who were caught on a cellphone video kicking a motionless motorist on a Los Angeles freeway have pleaded no contest and been sentenced.
City News Service reports 22-year-old David Mendez and 27-year-old Edras Ramirez were sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation, 45 days of freeway cleanup service and 36 anger management sessions.
Cellphone video footage showed the two fighting the beaten motorist, Jerry Patterson, and leaving him lying on the freeway. That same footage captured the license plate, allowing authorities to find the driver.
The men turned themselves in after this (violent) footage circulated in local media.
Posted on | March 25, 2013 | No Comments
Find out what kind of insect is being blamed for killing large oak trees in Southern California and what, if anything, can be done about it:
Posted on | March 22, 2013 | No Comments
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CA – Two dogs in California share an inseparable bond. One is blind – the other is his guide.
Animal welfare workers said they found Isaac and Isabella found together wondering the streets of San Bernardino County Monday.
Isaac is a blind Husky and Isabella, his small Terrier mix friend who also serves as his Seeing Eye dog.
“It’s just really remarkable how she’s always trying to be aware of where Isaac’s at and you know if he’s not right behind her, she’ll stop and wait for him to catch up with her,” Hermosa Animal Hospital’s Lindsey Riggins said. “It’s really funny and just like I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
Animal rescue group STAND is looking to place the pair into a good home.
“She keeps her eye on him at all times like a little pilot fish.” STAND Foundation’s Dan Guss said. “There’s a work relationship between these two, and there’s a love relationship between these two and how they know what the other needs or what the other is saying is amazing. It’s like an old couple that’s been married for 60 years and they just know what’s going on with the other person.”
(News 10 Sacramento)
Posted on | March 15, 2013 | No Comments
STOCKTON, CA – Craig Stapleton is 51 with more than 7,000 jumps in his experience. What happened last weekend near Lodi nearly ended that passion and his life.
Stapleton was involved in a flag-unfurling stunt with a partner when things went wrong.
“As we separated a lanyard out to get the flag out, I got to the end too fast. There was so much momentum it flipped me around. I snapped back, like a dog at the end of a leash,” said Stapleton.
His main parachute began wrapping around his arms. At 1,700 feet, and falling fast, Stapleton opened his backup chute but that got tangled with the main device.
“I was convinced I was going to die. I looked at the ground and was still spiraling and thought ‘this is where I’m going to die,’” said Stapleton.
The fall was caught on home video by someone on the ground near the Lodi Parachute Center. Stapleton figures he was traveling about 30 miles per hour when he landed among grapevines.
“I landed between the grapes. It was the only field they’d plowed already.
Reporter: “What grape?”
Stapleton: “I think it was zin.”
Reporter: “Do you like zin?”
Stapleton: “I do now!”
(News 10 Sacramento)« go back — keep looking »