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South Lake Tahoe candy shop partners to expand offerings

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A pair of candy shops recently partnered bringing together the elegance of Champagne & Chocolate with the nostalgia of the Chocolate Nugget. 

Champagne & Chocolate, of South Lake Tahoe, and Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory, located in Washoe Valley and Mound House, Nevada, have joined efforts to offer something for everyone, from brunch and wine tastings to family-friendly events and chocolate treats.

Champagne & Chocolate is known for its vibrant atmosphere and exceptional champagne and chocolate pairings. With this partnership, the public can now enjoy a fun, modern experience while still getting their favorite childhood chocolate from the Chocolate Nugget.

Cesar Fausto, owner of Champagne & Chocolate, expressed his excitement for the partnership, stating, “We are so excited to join forces with the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory and provide our customers with even more unique experiences from brunches to wine tastings and everything in between. We’re looking forward to the coming months and the fun events we have planned for everyone to enjoy.”

The Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory has been producing top-quality candies and chocolates since 1936. As a third-generation candy store, the company has maintained its legacy of excellence in crafting delicious candies and chocolates that have stood the test of time.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Champagne & Chocolate,” said Eddie Feriance, owner of the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory. “This partnership allows us to continue to provide our loyal customers with their favorite candies and treats, while also expanding our offerings to include more exciting events and experiences.”

The Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory will continue to operate at their two locations in Northern Nevada and offer their classic candy and chocolates, which are now also available at Champagne & Chocolate. A Champagne & Chocolate collection is also available on ChocolateNuggetCandyFactory.com.

For more information on the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory and Champagne & Chocolate, visit the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory website at chocolatenuggetcandyfactory.com and Champagne & Chocolate website at www.champagnechoco.com.

Storm drops more than a foot of snow at Tahoe; Cold temps, snow showers for the weekend, beyond

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The late season winter storm has mostly departed Lake Tahoe leaving behind more than a foot of snow and chain controls across the basin.

While the main snow from the storm has moved on, bands of snow showers are expected to redevelop Wednesday afternoon, along with chances for thunder, and continue through the evening with spotty accumulations, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is reporting almost 2 feet of snow (22 inches) Wednesday morning, Kirkwood Mountain Resort reported receiving 18 inches, Palisades Tahoe got a foot and Heavenly Mountain Resort and Sierra-at-Tahoe each received 11 inches.

Chain controls are in effect on all mountain passes at Tahoe and the only roads where no chains or snow tires are required are on U.S. Highway 50 from Meyers through South Lake Tahoe and a stretch of State Route 28 from Tahoe Vista to Tahoe City.

Thursday and Friday are shaping up to be mostly sunny, albeit cool with high temperatures possibly reaching 40.

For the weekend, snow chances with light accumulations up to a couple of inches return to the region on Saturday.

Another storm system is projected to drop into the region Sunday evening into Monday bringing a reinforcing shot of cold air, travel impacts, gusty winds, increased snow shower chances across a majority of eastern California and western Nevada.

The high temps will hit 40 on the weekend before dropping to the low 30s Monday and Tuesday, about 15-20 degrees below seasonal averages.

The service said the unsettled weather pattern with below average temps likely continues into Easter weekend with another colder storm possible by the end of next week.

City’s emergency preparedness workshop scheduled for Wednesday is canceled

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Emergency Preparedness Workshop scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday at Fire Station No. 2 in South Lake Tahoe has been canceled, the city announced Wednesday morning.

The city is looking to reschedule the event over the next couple of weeks.

El Dorado County property taxes due by April 10

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The second installment of the secured property tax is due and will be delinquent if not paid on or before April 10, said a Tuesday news release from El Dorado County Treasurer-Tax Collector K.E. Coleman.

“The delinquency date falls on Monday, April 10. Property tax payments must be received by this office or must have a U.S. Postal Service postmark with this date or penalties will be imposed in accordance with state law,” Coleman said. 

To pay online or to find answers to the most frequently asked property tax questions, access the website at https://www.edcgov.us/taxcollector. Taxpayers can also view or print copies of their tax bills from this website. 

Electronic check and credit card payments made through this website are accepted as timely if paid before midnight April 10. Accepted cards include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. The third-party credit card processing company charges an administrative processing fee for this service. If paying through a bank’s online bill payment system, the county recommends making payments no less than 10 days before the delinquent date. 

The department is open to receive payments in person at the tax counter from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Secured payment bins have also been installed outside both building entrances at 360 Fair Lane in Placerville, which are accessible only during office hours. The bins are emptied and secured after hours, for payment security.

Staff is available to answer your tax questions, during office hours, at 530-621-5800 or by e-mail to taxcollector@edcgov.us. 

For security, payments are not accepted by phone or e-mail.

Source: El Dorado County

Barton Health honors Marquette as Physician of the Year

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Barton Health staff members and physicians have voted Jacob Marquette, DO, as Barton’s Physician of the Year. 

Dr. Marquette received a majority of nominations recognizing his outstanding leadership and his caring, compassionate approach to health care. Dr. Marquette is a hospitalist at Barton Memorial Hospital, board certified in family medicine and addiction medicine.

“Dr. Marquette has built trust throughout the organization, and is consistently acknowledged for his collaborative and kind approach to patient care,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matthew Wonnacott. “In addition to his role as a hospitalist treating patients with acute health needs, his specialty in addiction medicine broadens our ability to help community members address substance use and dependency.”

Nominations for Dr. Marquette highlighted his inclusive approach to patient care, and his respect for his peers:

“Compassionate, intelligent physician.”

“He is truly an amazing physician to work with. He communicates effectively with staff as well as patients and sets such great goals of care for each patient he works with. He displays immense trust in his team and is well respected by those around him.”

“Dedicated to medicine and caring for others, Dr. Marquette is an exceptional physician.  Expanding his knowledge base, pushing himself to continue to grow in his career and at Barton. Our hospital and community are lucky to have a physician like Dr. Marquette.”

The Physician of the Year is decided by an anonymous survey open to all employees and practitioners. The annual award is a way to recognize physicians for their extraordinary work and dedication in fulfilling Barton’s mission of delivering safe, high-quality care. Awarded physicians are featured near the main lobby of Barton Memorial Hospital for the award year.

More information on Barton Health services and specialties as well as quality and safety awards can be found at BartonHealth.org.

Dr. Clint Purvance (left) and Dr. Matthew Wonnacott (right) present the Barton Health Physician of the Year award to Dr. Jacob Marquette.

Informational night April 6 at Whittell High School

ZEPHYR COVE, New. — George Whittell High School will host an informational night from 5:30-7 p.m. April 6.

“This is a chance for members of the school communities to come and have a conversation with the administration and district representatives to provide feedback about how they look to improve the program offerings specifically at Whittell, and increase enrollment,” Principal Sean Ryan told the Tribune.

Currently, the student population for the high school is under 100 students, according to Ryan. 

George Whittell High School hosts an informational night April 6.
Provided/Sean Ryan

South Lake Tahoe robotics team tops competition at ‘Power Play’ challenge

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Giga Bite, a team of youth robotics from the Tahoe STEM Academy and Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, competed this month in Henderson, Nevada against nearly 30 other teams from within the region and came out on top. 

“Power Play,” the aptly named challenge, required each team to design, build and program robots which would then power through a game to display their creativity, problem-solving skills, while putting their teamwork to the test. 

Giga Bite is a second-year community-based team competing in the Northern Nevada FTC League, coached by David Wise, and Monique LeMay. This year’s team members are Jay Feeney, Arya Saini, Jackson Letton, Logan Habicht, Connor Habicht, Jude James, Jacob Lucas, Josie Feeney, Jackson Grillone, Seth Johnson, Trevor Bennet, and Ris Goralski. In addition to the team’s victory, Feeney and Lucas both were semifinalists for the Dean’s List individual award. 

“We are so excited to have gotten this opportunity to travel and compete alongside all these very talented teams. We can’t wait to see what we can accomplish next season,” said Management Team Lead and Builder Arya Saini.

David Wise, Tahoe STEM Academy educator and coach of Giga Bite, said, “I’m so amazingly proud of this group of talented young individuals. They poured their hearts and souls into their robot and this competition, and it truly shows. I’m honored to be one of their coaches, along with Monique LeMay. These kids are going to do amazing things and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

Tahoe STEM Academy offers daily instruction through the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, as well as private engineering-focused lessons for adults and kids alike. 

The Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe provided a location for the team to meet and build in the STEM Room at the Angel of Tahoe Main Site Building which allowed the team members to foster a mentoring relationship with younger members. 

According to a recent press release from the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, the competitive robotics program created by Tahoe STEM Academy and Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe aims to promote critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration among young people in the South Lake Tahoe community, helping to develop the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

The team wished to wholeheartedly thank their sponsors, Untethered Coworking Space, Lumos & Associates, Tahoe STEM Academy, and the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe. This season and win would not have been possible without their support. 

FIRST Robotics is a global organization that aims to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on robotics competitions. Founded in 1989, the organization has grown to over 500,000 participants worldwide, with programs for students in grades K-12.

California lawmakers OK potential fines for high gas prices

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers on Monday approved the nation’s first penalty for price gouging at the pump, voting to give regulators the power to punish oil companies for profiting from the type of gas price spikes that plagued the nation’s most populous state last summer.

The Democrats in charge of the state Legislature worked quickly to pass the bill on Monday, just one week after it was introduced. It was an unusually fast process for a controversial issue, especially one opposed by the powerful oil industry that has spent millions of dollars to stop it.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom used his political muscle to pass the bill, which grew out of his call last October for a special legislative session to pass a new tax on oil company profits after the average price of gas in California hit a record high of $6.44 per gallon, according to AAA. Taking on the oil industry has been a major policy priority for Newsom, who is widely viewed as a future presidential candidate.

“When you take on big oil, they usually roll you — that’s exactly what they’ve been doing to consumers for years and years and years,” Newsom told reporters after the vote. “The Legislature had the courage, conviction and the backbone to stand up to big oil.”

He is expected to sign the bill into law Tuesday.

Legislative leaders rejected his initial call for a new tax because they feared it could discourage supply and lead to higher prices.

Instead, Newsom and lawmakers agreed to let the California Energy Commission decide whether to penalize oil companies for price gouging. But the crux of the bill isn’t a potential penalty. Instead, it’s the reams of new information oil companies would be required to disclose to state regulators about their pricing.

The companies would report this information, most of it to be kept confidential, to a new state agency empowered to monitor and investigate the petroleum market and subpoena oil company executives. The commission will rely on the work of this agency, plus a panel of experts, to decide whether to impose a penalty on oil company profits and how much that penalty should be.

“If we force folks to turn over this information, I actually don’t believe we’ll ever need a penalty because the fact that they have to tell us what’s going on will stop them from gouging our consumers,” said Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, a Democrat from Orinda.

California’s gas prices are always higher than the rest of the country because of the state’s taxes and regulations. California has the second-highest gas tax in the country at 54 cents per gallon. And it requires a special blend of gasoline that is better for the environment but more expensive to produce.

But state regulators say those taxes and fees aren’t enough to explain last summer, when the average cost of a gallon of gasoline in California was more than $2.60 higher than the national average.

“There’s truly no other explanation for these historically high prices other than greed,” said Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo, a Democrat from Chatsworth. “The problem is we don’t have the information that we need to prove this, and we don’t have the ability to penalize the kind of historic price gouging we saw last year.”

The oil industry recorded massive profits last year, following years of huge losses during the pandemic when more people stayed home and fewer people were on the road.

Eloy Garcia, lobbyist for the Western States Petroleum Association, said California’s high gas prices are the result of decades of public policy decisions that have made the state an island in the global petroleum market and driven many oil refiners out of the state. He noted California does not have a pipeline to send oil into the state, meaning it has to ship what it can’t produce itself from the ocean, which takes longer and costs more.

“We’re not like Texas. We’re not like Louisiana. We’re not like the Northeast,” Garcia said. “We do not have a fungible fuel supply. We have chosen to do that. We have set ourself up by 30 years of public policy.”

Garcia said Monday’s vote “sends a clear signal not to invest in California.”

Lauren Sanchez, senior climate advisor for Gov. Gavin Newsom, said the state has plenty of supply, noting California oil refineries exported 12% of their product to other states last year.

“We’re also the third-largest gasoline market in the world for these companies,” she said.

‘Hibernating trash’: Lake Tahoe clean up events net low amount of waste

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The League to Save Lake Tahoe hosted two cleanups this past weekend, one at Heavenly Village and another at the Spooner Summit sled hill, which kicked off their volunteer season and supported Clean CA Community Days, an 11-day event sponsored by the Governor’s Office.

A combination of volunteers from Tahoe Blue Crews and Take Care Tahoe and community members and visitors helped clean those areas from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, and Chris Joseph, communications director for the League came away from Spooner surprised with the little amount of waste, but he remains concerned about trash being layered into the snow like a lasagna.

As layers of snow melt, more will be revealed, he said.

“Spooner was wonderfully free of tons of garbage, we expected mountains and heaps,” Joseph said, and added that volunteers were not met with their typical “multi-colored plastic carpet” made up of wantonly discarded unwanted sleds. “It was good to see the place just look like a snowy hill for once, it’s clean for now, but not for good. We could surmise that the dumpster and port-a-potties the League funded for the winter season are helping to divert that waste out of the environment.”

Joseph added that other agencies have helped to effect change during the winter season, including the sled corrals promoted by the Tahoe Fund/Take Care Tahoe and supported by the League and UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

Keep Tahoe Blue held a cleanup day on Saturday at the Spooner sled hill.
Provided/League to Save Lake Tahoe

“The sled corrals are installed at five different sled hills around the lake,” Joseph said.

The idea is to provide a place to concentrate the garbage in one spot as well as provide an area for used, unwanted, sleds to be left behind for future use.

A partially buried sled corral at Spooner Summit sled hill.
Provided/League to Save Lake Tahoe

Joseph said the corrals have been effective and a crew had come just days before the scheduled clean up to dig out the corrals that had become covered.

Prior to the arrival of the dumpster and portable restroom facilities in 20/21, a single Tahoe Blue Crew removed nearly 2,000 pounds of trash during 30 clean ups hosted throughout the year. The total of weight of trash, 1,981 pounds, was reduced to 126 pounds of trash for the 21/22 winter season with the nonprofit funded waste receptacles being introduced.

The proof is in the pudding, according to Joseph, “having a place for people to properly dispose of their trash works. However, it’s unsustainable to rely on volunteers and funding from a nonprofit to support those effective and much-needed facilities.”

In stark contrast, the Heavenly Village clean up resulted in 18 volunteers collecting 169 pounds of trash during the five hour event.

Keep Tahoe Blue Crews work to clean up the Heavenly Village Shopping Center and surrounding area.
Provided/League to Save Lake Tahoe

The League’s Senior Land Use Policy Analyst, Gavin Feiger, said he picked up beer cans from a snow bank in the morning, and in the early afternoon, the same spot had food wrappers sticking out of the melting snow bank.

What Joseph called “hibernating trash” was found in the tourist core epicenter.

Joseph said, “As the day wore on and the snow started to melt, more and more trash revealed itself — giving a preview of what we can expect to see at Spooner later this season.”

Early Bird tickets extended for 6th annual Tahoe Brewfest

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Early Bird ticket sales for the 6th annual Tahoe Brewfest have been extended to midnight, April 7.

Tickets purchased through April 7 will be $45 and will increase by $10 after that date for unlimited sampling from 1-5 p.m. VIP tickets will remain the same at $75 with admission at 11 a.m. with taps opening at noon.

Directors of the popular brewfest, which again will take place on Ski Run Boulevard, take pride in the brewfest being one of the largest community events in South Lake Tahoe, annually bringing together thousands of people.

“Tahoe Brewfest prides itself on being one of the largest Tahoe community events, celebrating all that is special about South Lake Tahoe’s mountain culture: our beer, our crafts, our environment and most of all, our community,” said a news release. “We can’t wait to welcome beer lovers from all over the world to enjoy a beautiful day of brew in South Lake Tahoe. We welcome all ages to join us to have a brew-tastic time and help fundraise for the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe.”

More than 40 breweries and 25 local food and merchandise vendors will be featured along with music, entertainment, games and more.

This event will be returning to the heart of South Lake Tahoe on Ski Run Blvd. with more blocks, over 40 breweries, 25 local food and merchandise vendors, up-beat music, entertainment, games, and more. 

Beers, Ciders, Kombuchas attending include: 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Alameda Island Brewing, Alibi Ale Works, Altamont Works, Ballast Point Brewing, Calicraft Brewing, Cold Water Brewery, Craft Ohana, Del Cielo Brewing, Dust Bowl Brewing, Faction Brewing, FiftyFifty Brewing, Flying Embers Hard Kombucha, Fort Rock Brewing, Golden State Cider, Great Basin Brewery, Hemly Cider, Juneshine, Knee Deep Brewing, Lead Dog, Mammoth Brewing, Movement Brewing, New Glory, Onibi Beer, Pigeon Head, Pizza Port Brewing, Revision Brewing, Rod & Hammer Whiskey, Sacrament Brewing, Seismic Brewing, Shed Cat Tahoe, Sidellis, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Sincere Cider, Slo Brewing, South Lake Brewing, South of North Brewing, Stateline Brewery, The Turn Bar.

Get your 6th Annual Tahoe Brewfest tickets here: www.tahoebrewfest.com.

The Tahoe Brewfest used to take place at Heavenly Mountain Resort’s California Lodge but for the second straight year, the poplar event will be held on Ski Run Boulevard.
Provided/Tahoe Brewfest