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Supervisors OK $16M in COVID-Related Emergency Spending

MADERA — At their regular meeting Tuesday (July 14), Madera County supervisors unanimously approved a plan to spend $16.25 million in federal coronavirus relief funding. County Administrative Officer Jay Varney and Finance Director Joel Bugay led the effort to secure the emergency funding, which is designated for counties hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.According to the spending plan approved by supervisors ...

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Patent Lawsuit Filed Against North Fork Biomass Project Partners

NORTH FORK — A lawsuit was filed late last week against North Fork Community Power and the two private companies planning to build a new 2-MW biomass plant in North Fork.The suit, filed July 9 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, alleges that the private equity partners in the North Fork Community Power project — Phoenix ...

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Helicopters to Conduct PSPS Drill Above Area This Week

Image of the PG&E logo.

OAKHURST — Helicopters will be buzzing area skies later this week when PG&E conducts a PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutoff) exercise above the Highway 41 corridor between Oakhurst and Coarsegold.PG&E will be conducting aerial inspections of its power lines during the one-day exercise, which will take place throughout the day on Friday, July 17. PG&E officials emphasized that power will ...

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Still No Sign of Missing Camper, Search Enters Second Week

MADERA COUNTY — The search has stretched into a second week for a camper who went missing over the July 4th holiday weekend in the Sierra National Forest above Bass Lake. “Your family is worried about you,” was written on a sticker attached by Forest Service officials to Sandra Johnsen Hughes’ car, which was found about two miles from her ...

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Madera County Reports 36 New Cases; Total Now 893

MADERA — Madera County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) officials reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The latest cases, which include those confirmed both Thursday and today, bring the countywide total to 893.As of 4 p.m. Friday, MCDPH was reporting a total of 430 currently active cases — and 455 recoveries.Twelve people with coronavirus are currently hospitalized and ...

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Officials: Plans in Flux But Area Schools Will Restart on Aug. 13

Picture of young woman typing on laptop.

MOUNTAIN AREA — Superintendents of two area school districts both confirmed on Thursday that their schools are on track to open for the 2020-21 school year on August 13. “Schools will reopen one way or another,” said Bass Lake Joint Elementary School District Superintendent Randy Seals.Unfortunately, because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, there are still major questions about ...

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Madera Supervisors Appoint New Animal Services Director

MADERA — Madera supervisors held their first regular meeting of the County’s new 2020-21 fiscal year this week — and it was a busy session.The start of a new business year means the County must renew various departmental agreements with outside contractors. So Tuesday’s lengthy list of agenda items involved the auditor’s office, behavioral health sciences, community and economic development, ...

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Governor Bans Indoor Restaurant Dining, Closes Bars in Madera County

SACRAMENTO — Madera County was one of six California counties added to the state’s watch list Monday due to a spike in new coronavirus cases. According to local health officials, Madera County landed on the list because daily confirmed case numbers have been on the increase for three straight days — and the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 ...

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Tourism Officials: No Crowds, Lots of Safeguards at Yosemite

OAKHURST – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the National Park Service to make adjustments to how park visitors access Yosemite this summer. But there’s a silver lining: Park visitors are reporting more intimate, leisurely –and safe — experiences. Each day 1,700 day-use park passes are available via online reservation. While the situation is not ideal when passes sell out, local ...

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COVID, Census Take Center Stage at ‘Special Meeting’

MADERA — The Madera County Board of Supervisors held a brief, 30-minute “special meeting” Tuesday, tying up some loose ends on the last day of the County’s fiscal year.The board’s main orders of business involved approving an annual $100 road maintenance levy on Bass Lake property owners and authorizing a letter to state lawmakers opposing SB 474, which seeks to ...

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