Community News for 10/3/13 edition of the Sierra Star

October 1, 2013 

Eastern Madera County SPCA Animal Fair

The Eastern Madera County SPCA will host its 15th annual Animal Fair 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Sunday, Wednesday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oakhurst Community Park.

The event will include a one mile dog walk, a blessing of the animals, and competitions for best wag, best kiss, best trick, and newspaper fetch. The event, sponsored by Graydon Kennels, Whiskers and Paws, and the Sierra Star, will also include pet photos, microchipping, games, food, raffle prizes and demonstrations by the "Leap of Faith" flyball team.

Details: (559) 642-6611,

Fall gardening

The Oakhurst Garden Club will present a free "Fall Gardening in the Foothills" workshop at 1 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 6 at True Value Home Center on Highway 49.

Subjects will include starting a fall veggie garden, Iris dividing demonstration, growing a bulb garden, fall tree planting, and annuals to plant now that bloom all winter.

Participants will receive a 20% coupon good towards any plant purchase.

Details: (559) 683-7117.

Amazing Fabric Art and Wall Hangings

For the last 10 years, a small group of women in the Mountain Area have been challenging themselves to create.

Members of the Mountain Area are invited to see these creations on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Oakhurst Community Center Pavilion room.

Annual Quiet Day celebrates 20th year

Quiet Day will host its 20th annual event Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Evergreen Conference Center in Oakhurst.

This year's theme, The Woman at the Well, will be explored by The Right Rev. Eric Menees with musical interludes by Janice Britten, accompanied by Tyrell McKenzie.

Quiet Day includes a continental breakfast and lunch with a $18.00 donation.

Details: Lori Hedvall (559) 642-3534 or email

Fresno Flats

Friday, Oct. 11, Fresno Flats will present High Odyssey, a slide talk by Phil Bartholomew, former district fishery biologist for the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Bartholomew's presentation will cover a high Sierra adventure taken by his dad during the winter of 1928-1929, a 300-mile ski trip from Mt. Whitney to Yosemite. This harrowing trip included the first winter ascent of Mt. Whitney on Jan. 10, 1929 and he accomplished this alone.The story is summarized in the book "High Odyssey" by Gene Rose. The book will be available after the program.

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner provided by Kiwanis and Fresno Flats volunteers in the Cunningham School at Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park located on School Road (427). $10 admission. Space is limited so come early for this program, High Odyssey. Public is invited.

Details: (559) 658-2019, (559) 642-3618.


Erna's Elderberry House Restaurant, in partnership with South Gate Brewery Company, invites members of the community to Octoberfest, 5:30, Friday, Oct. 11.

The event will include authentic German-style dishes paired with house brewed beers from South Gate Brewery along with live accordion music and singing.

Price for the dinner and event is $68 per person.

For reservations and/or details: (559) 683-6800

Boys and Girls Club Halloween Event

The Oakhurst Boys and Girls invites children to wear their costumes for a small Halloween event. Yosemite High School students working on their senior projects will host fun and games. Also, during school fall brake (Oct. 14-17) Monday - Thursday the BGC will be open 2 - 6 p.m for familes.

Suspected arsonists back in court

The Coarsegold couple arrested on arson charges were back in court Monday, Sept. 30 continuing their preliminary hearings before Madera County Superior Court Judge Dale Blea.

Kenneth Jackson, 40, and Allison Waterman, 46, were arrested June 25, in connection to a rash of fires started in Yosemite Lakes Park and the surrounding area.

Testimony was given on Monday Sept. 9 by five to six witnesses including Cal Fire Captain Tim McCann who discussed the cause of the fires, indicating the fires in question were intentionally set.

Cross examination in the preliminary hearing continued Friday Sept. 27, on into Monday Sept. 30 where the district attorney and defense lawyers questioned witnesses and presented evidence.

Murder case continues

The murder case involving two North Fork citizens has been continued until Friday, Oct. 18, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 9.

Defendants Marc and Jennifer McMurrain are still in the hearing process and following the testimony and evidence presented in the hearings the Hon. Judge Mitchell C. Rigby will make a decision on whether or not there is enough evidence to go to trial.

Detectives arrested Marc McMurrain on Thursday Sept. 5 on suspicion of murder and booked him on suspicion of killing his brother Christopher Garrity. Following the discovery of the Garrity's body authorities arrested McMurrain's wife, Jennifer McMurrain, 32, on suspicion of accessory to murder.

Both suspects are being held at the Madera County Department of Corrections on a $1 million bail.

Town hall meeting

Supervisor Tom Wheeler's next town hall meeting with be Thursday, Oct. 3, at 6 p.m. at the Yosemite Lakes Park Clubhouse located at 30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway.

Discussion topics include:

Update on the state of the County

Update on area road/development projects

General discussion on District 5 and County-wide issues

Details: Maria Miranda, (559) 662-6050

Met gets Warner Bros. film

After nine months of negotiations the Met cinema will host their first Warner Bros. film since re-opening and offering the Movie Heroes pass.

Movie Heroes encourage the community to see George Clooney's new film, "Gravity" as many times as they wish.

The Met invites members of the community and Movie Heroes to show Warner Bros how much Movie Heroes desire their films. Warner Bros. will be looking at the attendance of this film for the next two weeks to see the Movie Heroes demand for Warner Bros movies. If there is high attendance, it shows them there is a market for their movies in the mountains.

The movie will begin showing on Friday, Oct. 4, at the Met Cinema.

Bass Lake Fall Festival

The Bass Lake Event Center, along with the Pines Village and local community schools, is hosting a Fall Festival event at Bass Lake at 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 19.

The event will kick off at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast and will include a haunted house, pumpkin patch, dog costume contest, bounce house, bingo, and petting zoo.

All proceeds will go to benefit the school that hosts that particular event/booth.

Member of the community are encouraged to come out and support their local school with some fun and games.

Details: (559) 642-3141 or email:

Fossil Discovery announces activities

The Fossil Discovery Center in Chowchilla will celebrate National Fossil Day on Saturday, Oct. 19 with numerous hands-on activities and exhibits meant to engage children and their parents.

Representatives from Fresno Chaffee Zoo will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a skunk and barn owl for kids to get an up-close and personal chance to see these modern animals.

The activities run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost of admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students and seniors over 55 are $6. The mock dig, normally $4, is free.

The center is located at 19450 Ave. 21 1/2.

Details: (559) 665-7107, Facebook: fossildiscoverycenterof maderacounty.

Howling Moon Ball

The Yosemite Youth Basketball Association is hosting the fundraising "Howling Moon Ball," 7-11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Snowline Bar & Grill on Highway 41, north of Oakhurst.

The evening will include a costume contest, no-host bar, finer food, dessert and door prizes. Must be 21 to attend.

Tickets are $20 per person.

Details: Sherri Dominici, (559) 760-4124.

Annual tater table setting contest

The Mountain Community Women will hold their annual Tater Luncheon & Table Setting Contest, Monday, Nov. 4 at the Oakhurst Community Center.

Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. with the short business meeting at 10 a.m. and the table setting contest/raffle/luncheon at 10:30 a.m.

There will be prizes; a $10 donation is requested and all proceeds support the Oakhurst Community Center.

Details: (559) 642-4711; table setting contest (559) 683-3068.

South Gate commemorates Yosemite Grant

The South Gate Brewing Company is holding a release party on Saturday Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. to show off a new beer that marks the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant.

The new beer helps mark the milestone of President Lincoln signing the Yosemite Grant that set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove for preservation.

The event will include live music, Oktoberfest-style dinner specials by Chef Dawn Pliche, 1864 logo t-shirts & steins giveaways, plus a grand prize drawing for a two night stay in a cabin at The Redwoods in Yosemite.

Special Mass Oct. 10

The public is invited to a special Mass for Danny Zabicki, 8 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 10 at Our Lady of the Sierra, Oakhurst. Father Mike Lastiri, who officiated at Danny's Mass five years ago, is coming from Hanford to celebrate this year's Mass.

Zabicki died of a rare cancer on Oct. 10, 2008. His parents, Roman and Laura Zabicki, started a fund in Danny's name that financially helped other families in the Mountain Area with medical bills from children's cancer or other illnesses.


A story in the Sept. 26 edition of the Sierra Star stated the Nancy Ayala council, with agreement from the Reggie Lewis council, made a pre-payment of $5.9 million to casino bondholders on behalf of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians. The payment was actually made by the casino with approval of both Ayala and Lewis.

We regret any confusion or misunderstanding.

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