Community News

Unemployment drops

Madera County’s unemployment rate improved from 8.7% in August to 7.7% by the end of September, the California Employment Development Department reported.

The change marks further improvement from September last year, when the county’s unemployment rate was at 8.9%. In Fresno County, unemployment sat at 8.1%, with the highest rate for any Valley county in Tulare at 9.9%.

BBQ for wounded deputy

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office will hold a barbecue benefit dinner for Rudy Mirelez, wounded in a gunfight Oct. 1, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.

Dinner is $20 a plate for adult, and $10 for children. A silent auction, live music, and dessert will be provided at the event. Tickets can be purchased at the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, Pony Express, the Fremont House, Mariposa Safe Families, Tap Room, Bootjack Market and Deli, Hoof and Paw, or at the Sheriff’s Office Station 1 on Greeley Hill.

Details: call Megan at (209) 628-9883.

Coat and canned food drive

A coat and canned food drive is underway to benefit Manna House. Sponsored by Yosemite Gateway Association of REALTORS, the community is asked to clean out closets for unwanted coats of all ages, as well as the pantry for canned and dry goods.

These items can be dropped off at any participating real estate office or Yosemite Gateway Association of REALTORS (near Sears in Oakhurst).

Items collected will be disbursed during the annual Manna House Christmas give-away, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Dec. 18.

Marines celebrate 240th birthday

MCL Griswold Mountain Detachment #1121 will celebrate the U.S. Marine Corps 240th birthday, Nov. 8, at the Evergreen Conference Center in Oakhurst.

Social hour begins at 5 p.m., with a ceremonial cake cutting at 6, followed by dinner, cost of $30 per person. Dinner selections are bacon-wrapped beef filets (medium rare only), salmon sautéed in a dill and butter sauce, and vegetarian grilled portobello mushroom.

Dress is semi-formal or military uniform.

RSVP check payable to MCL #1121 with entrées due by Oct. 23. Mail check to MCL Griswold Mountain Detachment #1121, P.O. Box 141, Oakhurst, 93644.

Details: Jim Winnery, (559) 658-2062.

Chamber mixer

The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Fall Festivities mixer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 at the Junction 90 Center, 40055 Highway 41.

Tri-tip sandwiches will be barbecued by Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler, with live music and a no-host bar available. There will also be a raffle prize giveaway.

Details: Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, (559) 683-7766.

Town hall

Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler will host the latest in his series of town hall meetings, in Ahwahnee from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today, Oct. 22, inside the Wasuma Union Elementary School Cafeteria located at 43109 Highway 49.

Among the night’s agenda are a presentation by Roger Maybee, the Madera County Firewise Coordinator, and Cal Fire Battalion Chief Troy Cheek.

Deputy Public Works Director Ahmad Alkhayyat will discuss refuse and recycling programs with Ashley Smith, recycling and operations manager for Emadco Disposal Services, Inc, and John Quigley, of the county Planning Department, is scheduled to talk about grey water.

Adventist Health named “Practice of the Year”

Faster emergency care, fewer re-admissions and increased patient satisfaction are among the achievements that Adventist Health / Central Valley Network was recognized for by CEP America - one of the leading providers of acute care management and staffing solutions in the nation.

During its 40th celebration in Los Angeles on Sept. 28, CEP America named the Central Valley Network the “Practice of the Year,” based on its nursing units and emergency departments, as well as small rural clinics like Oakhurst.

Preschool program

The Madera/Mariposa Regional Head Start preschool program is accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year. Your child must turn 3 years old by September 1, 2015 to be eligible.

Head Start provides a comprehensive, high quality service designed to foster healthy development for income eligible children and families. The program focuses on increasing the social competence of young children 3 to 4 years of age in Madera and Mariposa counties.

Services include early childhood education, medical and dental screening and follow up, services to children with disabilities, social skills, nutrition and family services. For more information or to schedule an appointment to apply, call Oakhurst Head Start at (559) 658-8171 or Mountain Head Start, North Fork (559) 877-2352.

You will need to provide the following documents: your child’s birth certificate, immunization records (must be up-to-date), Medi-Cal or other insurance card, and family income verification for twelve months (tax return, W-2s, Passport to Services, Social Security, TANF).

Book Sale

A $3 a bag book sale will be held 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Nov. 7, in the community room of the Oakhurst Branch Library. Bring your library card with FOBL 2015 sticker for $1 off. Proceeds benefit the library.

Details: (559) 642-4333, or

Decoration making

The Oakhurst Library will host a workshop presented by Carla Hyatt, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Oct. 24, in the community room. Participants will make two sculpted Christmas wreaths and a Thanksgiving pumpkin, and will learn to use the ancient art of folding paper into various artistic shapes.

After this event, Hyatt will teach the same class at the North Fork Library, 2 - 3:30 p.m. Anyone aged 11 and older is invited (children and adults), but, the class is limited to the first 40 people to pre-register. All supplies will be provided. Each student can take their projects with them when they leave the class. Thank you to FOBL for sponsoring this event.

This special workshop is sponsored by FOBL. To pre-register, (559) 683-4838, or North Fork Library, (559) 877-2387.

Harvest celebration

A harvest celebration will be held, 4-9 p.m., Oct. 31, at the Grove (42461 Highway 49) in Ahwahnee. For a safe and fun Halloween, face painting, games, food, candy and much more will be offered.

Native plants for sale

The Mariposa County Resource Conservation District will hold a plant sale focusing on native plants, 8 a.m. to noon, Oct. 31, at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.

Details: Tamara, (209) 966-3431, or visit