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The year in review

These were the most-read Enterprise headlines of 2021

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Pickled Porch

Angels Camp welcomed its own iteration of the beloved Pickle Patch Deli in San Andreas, with restaurateur Gretel Tiscornia expanding her sights to the city’s historic downtown in February of 2021.

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Calaveras County’s pared-down fair in May, rebranded as a “homecoming” in the aftermath of the pandemic, saw Libertas Academy senior Acadia Moes, 16, of Angels Camp, crowned as the 2021 Miss Calaveras, and Calaveras High School junior Emma Darmsted, 16, was crowned First Princess, alongside 18-year-old Taylor Wilden, a senior class valedictorian at Calaveras High School, who earned the title of Second Princess.

Fifteen-year-old Lily Butler was named Calaveras Saddle Queen, while Macy Liotta, 18, was awarded the First Runner-Up Princess title and Kylee Stemen, 18, was named Second Runner-Up Princess.

A vegetation fire off of Parrotts Ferry Road in Vallecito quickly grew to 700 acres on Aug. 25 at around 3 p.m. The community was on edge as the blaze threatened hundreds of homes and vital water infrastructure. The following day, the Washington Fire ignited in Tuolumne County, destroying 17 structures near downtown Sonora and burning simultaneously with the Airola Fire for several days. By Sept. 4, both fires were 100% contained, but not before droves of evacuees inundated surrounding service stations and hotels.


A DUI collision involving a tow truck and a 2006 Nissan Murano at the intersection of Burson Road and Highway 12 on April 15 resulted in damage to the Burson Market and an unoccupied pickup truck parked nearby. The tow truck driver suffered major injuries and the driver of the Nissan, Gabriel Fernandez, 34, of Modesto, was later arrested for a DUI.

The community rallied around the family of a Copperopolis man who was reported missing, with relentless search efforts throughout the month of August. However, in early September it was determined that the man had left of his own volition and was soon reunited with his family.

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The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office’s campaign against illegal marijuana growers ramped up during the summer months, with dozens of sites busted for cultivation and environmental violations. Between Aug. 5 and Aug. 19 alone, the sheriff’s marijuana enforcement team raided seven sites in Valley Springs, Paloma, West Point, Burson and Rail Road Flat. The value of the plants seized from these sites exceeded $10 million in value.

The community mourned the loss of Michael DeMasters, 24, a fish and game warden who often covered the Valley Springs and San Andreas area. DeMasters died in a Feb. 21 motorcycle collision while off-duty in Valley Springs.

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Calaveras County’s largest school district followed the lead of Mark Twain Union Elementary School District on Nov. 9 when its school board voted not to enforce Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students. Other school districts throughout have joined in their opposition. Most recently, the governor has made comments suggesting that his vaccine mandate may not be so stringent after all, stating that personal, medical and religious exemption loopholes will give dissenters an out.

Parents across the state took part in a school strike on Oct. 18, pulling their children out of class to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s vaccine requirement for students.


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